It looks like Chris Maxwell’s time at Deepdale is coming to an end – but he isn’t going far.
Maxwell spent the second half of last season out on loan at Charlton Athletic, and returned with no role to play under Alex Neil. Unsurprisingly, another loan materialised, this time joining Hibernian in Scotland.
Their new boss Jack Ross doesn’t fancy the Welshman, so his loan spell at Easter Road is coming to an abrupt end. They have been waiting for Maxwell to find a new club before officially announcing his departure, and he’s coming back to Lancashire.
Not with Preston; that door is well and truly closed. Instead, The Blackpool Gazette report that Blackpool are close to signing Maxwell, and hope to have him on board for tomorrow’s trip to Lincoln City.
With just six months left on Maxwell’s deal at Preston, he’ll likely sign for Blackpool permanently, cutting ties with North End once and for all. Blackpool’s first-choice stopper Jak Alnwick is out injured for 12 weeks, whilst they have allowed Christoffer Mafoumbi to join Morecambe on loan this week.
That paves the way for Maxwell to head up the M55, joining the League One side and reuniting with Simon Grayson in the process. Grayson brought Maxwell to Preston in 2016 from Fleetwood Town, and made him first-choice stopper in October 2016, dropping Anders Lindegaard for him.
Grayson was tackled about the situation on Thursday, but told the Blackpool Gazette that whilst he wanted a new goalkeeper, he couldn’t confirm whether Maxwell would be heading to Bloomfield Road. Now, his coy comments look to be leading to a concrete move.
Maxwell had his ups and downs at North End; he started well, with his sweeper-keeper style impressing many, leading to the nickname ‘Maxwell Neuer’ in some sections. However, mistakes came with that style, and after a red card at Ipswich Town last season – for two rushes of blood – his time was up.
The 29-year-old will hope to get back on track under Grayson after a couple of disappointing years, but it’s hard to see many Preston fans being annoyed at a North Ender joining our bitter rivals in this instance.