Fans may remember a time when Preston North End were heavily linked with Macauley Bonne; the striker now finds himself without a club.

Think back to 2020. Football had been rocked by COVID-19 and PNE had missed out on a Championship playoff spot.

It was abundantly clear that North End needed to sign another striker to bolster Alex Neil’s squad.

Emil Riis ended up arriving in a shock move from Randers as North End made a rare move into the European market.

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PNE were inked with others strikers though, with Bonne emerging as one notable rumour before the Riis deal.

The Sun reported in August 2020 that North End were planning to make a bid of £500,000 to sign Bonne from Charlton.

That was played down by Lancs Live suggesting that Bonne was out of PNE’s price range at a £750,000 asking price, rather than there being no interest at all.

Bonne ended up joining QPR for a fee well beyond the £750,000 mentioned; they instead paid around £2million to sign the Zimbabwean striker.

£750,000 seemed like a fair enough price at the time but PNE were never going to pay £2million for Bonne – a decision that has proven to be the right one.

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Bonne turned out 43 times for QPR and managed just three goals and was even farmed out on loan to Ipswich Town last season, scoring 12 goals in 43 outings.

The 27-year-old returned to QPR but has still struggled at Loftus Road, which has now resulted in him leaving West London.

QPR have confirmed that Bonne’s contract has been terminated by mutual consent with immediate effect, making him a free agent for the January window.

PNE do need a striker and with a limited budget to work on, taking a punt on Bonne isn’t completely out of all realms of possibility.

We would still anticipate him heading to a top League One side, maybe even Ipswich again, but if PNE really were keen back in 2020, news of Bonne’s availability may be of interest.

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