According to Bristol Live, Preston have been scouting Bristol Rovers striker Jonson Clarke-Harris this season.
Clarke-Harris, 25, hit his eighth goal of the season on Saturday afternoon, scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory over Rotherham United. That continued his blistering form for Rovers, taking his record to 19 goals in 29 games since joining in January.
It’s now claimed that Preston have scouted Clarke-Harris at least once this season, with Reading and Middlesbrough also interested.
The League One side now want to hand Clarke-Harris a new contract this week, to stop him leaving in January. The nomadic hitman would become Rovers’ highest-paid player if he signs.
Rovers lost Billy Bodin to Preston in January 2018 after some great form, and they are unsurprisingly looking to prevent a similar situation with Clarke-Harris.
Purple patch or the real deal?
Clarke-Harris has enjoyed a remarkable 2019, and he ticks some boxes for North End. He’s big and strong, but also has the pace and skill to ensure Preston wouldn’t go too one-dimensional; that’s been a problem with Jayden Stockley.
However, there would be real fears that Clarke-Harris is just enjoying a purple patch. He’s failed to really enjoy any sort of long-lasting success across his career, bouncing around a whole host of Football League clubs.
Coventry City, Peterborough United, Oldham Athletic, Southend United, Bury, Rotherham United, Milton Keynes Dons, Doncaster Rovers and now Bristol Rovers have all taken chances on Clarke-Harris in the past. They’ve mostly been left frustrated at him not realising his potential.
With accusations of being lazy in the past too, he may not perfect fit Alex Neil’s style, meaning we’re a little unsure whether pursuing him in January is a great move.