Preston may fly under the radar at times, but it seems Bayer Leverkusen may have one eye on a couple of Deepdale stars.
North End sit second in the Championship table, so interest in our top players is inevitable. We may have expected Premier League interest, but Bundesliga admirers? That wouldn’t have been guessed by anybody.
Now, The Sun’s Alan Nixon (27/10, page 61) reports that Bayer Leverkusen have been watching Preston lately, with scout Matthias Wallenwein scouting Alex Neil’s side.
Two players are thought to be on their radar; defender Ben Davies and attacker Tom Barkhuizen. Both have been in great form this season, and could receive some shock Bundesliga interest in 2020.
Davies, 24, is arguably the pick of this Preston side. Ben Pearson is an outstanding player, but his disciplinary issues may put teams off. With Davies, the only major concern would be his less-than-ideal size for a centre back.
He’s quick, he’s positionally very good, he reads the game well and he can play out from the back. He looks set for a huge future, and with just over 18 months left on his contract, a move is likely unless Preston can win promotion.
The interest in Barkhuizen is a little more surprising, but the 26-year-old has kicked on again this season. With five goals and one assist this season – including a brace in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers – he’s been hugely productive for Alex Neil this term.
Possibly in line for a South Africa call-up, Barkhuizen has come a long way since joining from Morecambe in January 2017. His blistering pace has caused problems for many Championship defenders, and he’s actually one of the best finishers at the club too.
It’s a truly bizarre rumour, but with German clubs looking more and more to the English market, you just never know. Leverkusen are in the Champions League this season and sit eighth in the Bundesliga, so it would be hard to begrudge either player such a huge move – if there is any interest in the rumour.