It’s been a weekend of rumours about outgoings at Preston, and another can be added to the list.
It started with Stoke City targeting Alex Neil, which Preston and Neil himself ruled out. Despite various claims that a move could go through, that seemingly won’t be happening now.
Then, The Express claimed that Wolves are preparing a £10million bid for Ben Davies. The North End defender is one of the most important players under Neil, and Preston certainly won’t want to sell in January.
There was another claim in Sunday’s newspapers, and this one concerned Ben Pearson. Alan Nixon of The Sun (3/11, p61) suggested that Burnley are leading the race for Pearson, with a 2020 move eyed.
Now, Nixon hasn’t exactly had the best weekend with Preston fans. His repeated claims about Neil to Stoke left some on Twitter angry, but he does have some contacts around the North West.
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Burnley may well be in the market for a midfielder next summer. Danny Drinkwater is only on loan from Chelsea and hasn’t made much of an impact, whilst Jeff Hendrick is out of contract at the end of the season.
Pearson would at least fit the bill for the Clarets as a gritty, determined midfielder, much like Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood. However, it’s fair to say this one wouldn’t go down well with North End fans.
Sales of Graham Alexander, Ross Wallace and Keith Treacy to the Clarets in years gone by were widely unpopular at Deepdale, and selling a key player like Pearson to our Lancashire rivals would be treated similarly.
Yet if Preston can’t go up this season, Pearson may well go. His contract runs out in 2021, and he’s ready for the Premier League. Much like Davies, Preston should not sell Pearson in January, but a move next summer is a possibility; let’s just hope it isn’t to Burnley.