Well, the January transfer window is fast approaching, and it’s natural that Preston players are being linked away.

North End have been superb this season, and sit second in the Championship table. Not only will Alex Neil hope to strengthen in January, but he’ll want to keep his key players together too.

Over the weekend, it was Bayer Leverkusen allegedly wanting Ben Davies and Tom Barkhuizen. Now, Football Insider’s Pete O’Rourke claims Rangers are keen on goalkeeper Declan Rudd.

Preston North End’s Declan Rudd. (Photo by Rich Linley – CameraSport via Getty Images)

It’s stated that Rangers know they can sign Rudd for a bargain fee in January, or on a free transfer next summer, with his contract coming to an end in 2020.

We understand that Preston have spoken to Rudd about a new deal, but interest from Rangers may just turn Rudd’s head. Many will say that Scottish football is a step down, but playing in front of 50,000 at Ibrox, under Steven Gerrard and even in Europe is hugely appealing.

Rangers have Allan McGregor and Wes Foderingham, as well as a number of other fringe goalkeepers, but with McGregor approaching 38 and Foderingham keen to play first-team football, Rudd could be an option for the Gers.

Allan McGregor, Rangers goalkeeper. (Photo by Paulo Oliveira / DPI / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Rudd has often divided opinion since returning to Deepdale. In his first season, he mostly played backup to Chris Maxwell. Last term, he was very hot and cold, and whilst he has improved under Jonathan Gould, issues remain.

Rudd does occasionally bring anxiety in the Preston defence through being stuck to his line. Against Blackburn, that was apparent, and some weak shot-stopping at Millwall and Reading has cost North End points.

For the news to break just a day after Billy Bodin’s new deal, you wonder whether this is an agent attempting to force North End’s hand. If Rangers do want Rudd, it may be difficult to keep him – and could leave North End needing a new goalkeeper in 2020.

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