North End may be in the market for a new striker before transfer deadline day – and an alleged form target just became available.

Rangers have today confirmed that veteran striker Kyle Lafferty has left the club. The 31-year-old only returned to Ibrox from Hearts last summer, but has already gone.

Lafferty only managed six goals for Rangers last season, with Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe playing more regularly. In fact, Lafferty only played 10 games in 2019, falling out of Steven Gerrard’s plans.

With no future at Ibrox, Rangers have decided to cut their losses and terminate Lafferty’s contract. Now a free agent, Lafferty will be hoping to find a new club sooner rather than later.

Kyle Lafferty of Rangers celebrates. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

What’s interesting is that Preston were actually linked last summer. Lafferty had excelled with 20 goals in 48 games for Hearts, and North End allegedly wanted him.

Alan Nixon claimed in The Sun on Sunday (02/09; page 59) that Alex Neil was ‘miffed’ to miss out on Lafferty, and then claimed the interest again on Twitter, which has since been deleted but was picked up by other North End fans.

That link seemed surprising, as Neil did manage Lafferty at Norwich City, but he barely featured for Neil. Reuniting would have been a shock, but now available for free, would he be worth looking at again?

Preston boss Alex Neil. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Lafferty has experience that Neil has been looking for. He’s made over 400 appearances in his club career, more than 100 in the Championship, and he’s notched 73 caps for Northern Ireland.

He’s a striker available for free, which would seemingly suit the North End mould this summer. Additionally, he’s at least familiar with the north too, having emerged at Burnley.

Lafferty wouldn’t really set pulses racing, but his availability and the claims that Neil wanted him last summer may just put him on the radar after his Ibrox exit.

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