Preston’s first January signing appears to be around the corner, with Scott Sinclair heading to Deepdale.
The Celtic wide man is on the verge of sealing a move to North End, with BBC Sport claiming he underwent a medical on Tuesday ahead of finalising his switch.
Sinclair left Celtic’s training camp in Dubai earlier this week to make his move, returning to English football for the first time since leaving Aston Villa in 2016.
Fans are excited about the move for Sinclair, as it’s the biggest name North End have brought in for a few years now, and there’s a real hope that he can provide some magic in the final third.
Many will be wondering the terms of Sinclair’s move. He’s a big earner at Celtic, far beyond what Preston players earn, but his contract is up at the end of the season.
Now, Celtic boss Neil Lennon has told BBC Sport that the Bhoys aren’t taking a fee for Sinclair, which aligns with what we were told about the move being a free transfer.
Lennon did though add that Sinclair is only signing for Preston until the end of the season, and Celtic are happy for him to go out and play football even though it means his Bhoys career is over for good.
“No, it’s until the end of the season,” said Lennon when asked if Celtic had earned a fee for the winger. “I think Scott wanted to go and play, his game time here was limited. He’s a great lad, he’s a fantastic professional, he’s had a great time here, but he was struggling to get into the team. He wants to play more football, and Preston are giving him that opportunity. We’re quite happy – well, not happy, we’re sorry to see him go – but happy for him to go and get regular football now,” he added.
Hearing that Sinclair is only coming until summer may be a blow for Preston fans, but it makes sense. This way, Sinclair puts himself in the shop window for a summer move as a free agent, whilst North End aren’t on the hook for years with his wages.
If North End manage to break into the playoffs or even go up, their chances of keeping Sinclair will strengthen anyway. With this arrangement, there may even still be a chance of Celtic paying a portion of his wages until his deal expires.