The Sun’s Alan Nixon didn’t exactly make himself popular with Preston fans during the Alex Neil-Stoke saga, but he’s returned with more claims about Neil.
Nixon reported on the Neil story over Twitter, making claims about their interest which North End fans didn’t like. Nixon is though well-connected in Lancashire, and his new claims about Neil are interesting.
Nixon this weekend claimed in The Sun on Sunday (page 59) that Neil is a target for other Championship clubs, and even Premier League teams, having impressed since becoming Preston manager.
It is though added that Preston are in no mood to let Neil leave any time soon, having given him a new three-year contract in April.
In fact, Nixon claims that Peter Ridsdale wants a huge £3.5million to let Neil leave, whilst Neil himself is in line for a major bonus if he can take Preston to the Premier League, which is an additional reason for Neil wanting to stay.
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For context, Preston received around £750,000 for Simon Grayson in 2017. The fee for Neil would be more than four times that amount, showing just how highly he’s valued at Deepdale.
Championship clubs being keen is no surprise, but which Premier League clubs could be keen?
Managers under threat right now include Everton’s Marco Silva, West Ham United’s Manuel Pellegrini and Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl. The latter seems more realistic for Neil, with the two other clubs probably looking for flashier names.
Bournemouth may eye Neil in case Eddie Howe leaves at the end of the season, as well as Sheffield United in case Chris Wilder gets headhunted.
Preston don’t really need to worry about that yet, but if North End miss out on promotion, Neil is likely to be a man in demand.