Preston North End were only linked with Max Johnston last week but Brighton and Hove Albion appear to have joined the race.

Scottish newspaper The Daily Record reported that PNE had been looking at Johnston as a potential summer signing.

Sheffield United and Luton Town were also mentioned as being in the race for Johnston after his rise into the Motherwell side.

Now it’s Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion allegedly chasing Johnston.

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The Scottish Sun claim that Brighton sent a scout to watch Johnston in action for Motherwell against Hearts on Sunday afternoon.

Johnston started at right wing back for Motherwell and played the full 90 minutes in an impressive 2-0 win for the hosts.

Johnston nearly made it 3-0 in the second half as he sent a left-footed strike just past the post.

The Daily Record add that Cardiff City have also been watching Johnston and scout Alex Stafford was at Fir Park on Sunday too.

Johnston, 19, has been shining for Motherwell of late having been recalled from a loan spell at Cove Rangers.

The son of former Sunderland, Rangers and Middlesbrough winger Allan Johnston, Max is now making a name for himself at Motherwell.

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PNE need a natural right wing back at some point if they are committed to Ryan Lowe’s 3-5-2 approach and Johnston could fit the bill.

Out of contract in the summer and with bags of potential, Johnston could solve a real problem position for North End.

The competition is growing though and beating a Premier League club in Brighton will be a tough ask for PNE ahead of the summer transfer window.

North End will need to sell the idea of playing regular first-team football to Johnston, which may not immediately be on offer at Brighton.

This is a difficult pursuit for PNE and we’re expecting more and more clubs to join the race for Johnston’s signature with his contract running down.