Preston drew 1-1 with Swansea last weekend and faced a player Alex Neil had his eye on.

North End rescued a point as Daniel Johnson scored a second half penalty, cancelling out Courtney Baker-Richardson’s opener.

The game saw Brad Potts and Jayden Stockley make their debuts, with Neil starting his new signings.

One player that somewhat slipped through net was lining up on the other side though.


Ahead of the game, Neil told the LEP that North End had looked into a deal for Swans playmaker Bersant Celina.

However, Manchester City sold Celina to Swansea for £4million, way beyond what North End would spend.

PRESTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: Bersant Celina of Swansea City in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Swansea City at Deepdale on January 12, 2019 in Preston, England. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

“We looked at the boy Celina, who scored goals for Ipswich on loan last year,” said Neil. “He was someone who we were maybe looking at last summer. I think Swansea bought him for £4m,” he added.

Celina, 22, hit seven goals on loan at Ipswich last season, seemingly sparking North End’s interest.

The Kosovo international has notched four goals and four assists for Swansea this season, playing a starring role for Graham Potter.

A common criticism is that North End don’t have a truly creative number 10; a role Celina would have filled.

Celina would have been the signal of intent many fans wanted over the summer, after the sales of Jordan Hugill and Greg Cunningham.

£4m was always always going to be beyond North End’s current transfer model, but it’s clear Neil has ambitious targets.

Fans often want North End to push the boat out a little bit more, possibly for players like Celina.

This one may have been a little too audacious on Neil’s part though.