Preston have been in the race to sign Hearts defender John Souttar – but beating Celtic would be just much of a risk as it would be a coup.
The Daily Record reported last week that North End have expressed an interest in signing Souttar in 2022.
Souttar is out of contract at the end of the season, meaning he could be signed to a pre-contract agreement or a cut-price cash deal.
Preston are far from alone in the race. That same report claimed that Celtic and Rangers, as well as Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Luton Town, Queen’s Park Rangers and Stoke City are all keen on Souttar.
A Scotland international and one of the top defenders north of the border, it’s quite clear that beating so many clubs to his signature would be a coup for Preston.
Yet if you take a look into Souttar’s history, you realise that he would be a huge risk too.
Souttar has ruptured his achilles tendon not once, not twice but three times in the last five years.
Add in hip and ankle injuries and Souttar has missed a staggering amount of playing time with Hearts.
Preston have been down this road recently, taking gambles on injury-prone duo Izzy Brown and Connor Wickham.
Somewhat predictably, both players quickly picked up injuries and may not play for North End again.
Going for another injury-prone player in Souttar would be another big gamble from Preston, even if defenders are needed.
As things stand, Preston will go into next season without Sepp van den Berg, Patrick Bauer and Andrew Hughes.
New defenders may well be needed, and Souttar’s bargain availability if appealing – but that injury history will leave many Preston fans fearing the worst.