Preston North End could face competition from Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers in their pursuit of Tom Cannon this summer.

That is according to journalist Alan Nixon who has reported Preston are looking into the possibility of signing the striker permanently from Everton. Much will depend on The Toffees league status which is set to go down to the last round of Premier League fixtures.

It is thought that if they are relegated, Sean Dyche would look to keep Cannon on after his impressive showing in the second half of the Championship season. However if they survive the drop he could be allowed out on loan again.

Nixon suggests Blackburn and Swansea City would be keen to land the 20-year-old after his eight goals for The Lilywhites.

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Cannon scored against Swansea although they could be set to lose their manager Russell Martin who is being strongly linked to Southampton.

A loan move is far more likely than Preston signing him on a permanent deal. It would have to break their transfer record to be able to bring him to Deepdale on a long-term deal.

It does feel a case of de ja vu for North End, as there was similar stories this time last year regarding Cameron Archer. It never felt likely that he would come back despite all the statements of intent coming out of the club. Ultimately he stayed at Aston Villa for the first half of the season before choosing to join Middlesbrough over Preston. It was a good move for Archer as he scored 11 goals for Boro including two against Preston.

Ryan Lowe would obviously love to bring Cannon back as he was one of our standout loan signings of the season. He seemed to be improving game by game and like Archer, he was adored by the North End faithful thanks to scoring against Blackpool.

Preston can’t afford to put all their eggs in one basket with this one though. The striking department is depleted at the moment with only Ched Evans and Emil Riis as the senior strikers at the club, and both are recovering from long-term injuries.

You’d be looking at at least three signings in that area this summer and Preston need to have a few irons in the fire. It’s unclear if Everton will hold on to Cannon and even if they don’t it looks as if they’ll be plenty of competition in the Championship to bring him in.

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