According to the Daily Record, Preston are in the race to sign free agent striker James Wilson.

North End have added Patrick Bauer to strengthen the defence, but another striker should be on the radar. We’ve all seen the links to Jordan Hugill, but another popular name has been Wilson.

It’s now claimed that North End are interested in signing Wilson, but face competition from MLS club and Aberdeen. Wilson spent last season on loan at Aberdeen, and has since been released by Manchester United.

A return to Pittodrie may be on the cards, though a reunion with ex-United teammates Ben Pearson and Josh Harrop may appeal to the forward.


Wilson, now 23, burst onto the scene with United in 2014, scoring twice against Hull City on his first-team debut. Since then though, his record is less than impressive.

Wilson leaves United with four goals in 20 games, and loan spells elsewhere haven’t gone to plan. 10 goals in 72 games across spells with Brighton and Hove Albion, Derby County, Sheffield United and Aberdeen ultimately led to his release.

James Wilson of Manchester United. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

A serious knee injury at Derby appears to have stunted Wilson’s development, and the free agent is now looking for a new club. Could that be Preston?

Well, despite the new claims in Scotland, it appears a little dubious. Unsubstantiated claims of North End wanting Wilson started on Facebook last month, and have since spread to Twitter.

It’s conceivable that the Record have picked on that rumour, and added North End into the mix. Wilson’s name has faded in Preston circles in the last couple of weeks, so it would be a surprise if there’s substance here.

Ideally, North End do need a striker with a turn of pace. Wilson isn’t rapid, but can at least run in behind defences, and he does have some Championship experience, which Alex Neil wants.

If Neil wanted a depth striker, Wilson on a free may fit the bill. North End don’t need more bit-part attackers though; we need a real goalscorer, not a player who struggled at Aberdeen alongside Stevie May.

We’re almost hoping this one isn’t true. Wilson’s career appears to be heading the wrong way, and whilst Bauer was an ideal free transfer signing, this one would be a little more desperate.