According to The Irish Examiner, a €500,000 (£415,000) deal between Preston North End and Cork City has been ‘signed off’.

Reports broke on Wednesday of talks between the two clubs, with Preston officials heading over to Cork for talks over new involvement with the Irish club.

Cork find themselves in major financial trouble right now, and Preston are getting involved. It’s claimed that Preston have given Cork €500,000 (£415,000) to ease their woes, but have effectively bought out the sell-on clauses in ex-Cork players.

Alan Browne and Seani Maguire were both signed from Cork, but Preston have managed to get rid of those sell-on clauses by giving Cork a lump sum right now to ease their woes.

Preston North End F.C. advisor Peter Ridsdale, left, and manager Alex Neil before the UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying Round First Leg match between Cork City and AEK Larnaca at Turner’s Cross in Cork. (Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

With Browne potentially on the move this summer, this looks to be a pretty smart move from North End, ensuring that big chunk of a fee doesn’t end up leaving the club.

Yet there could be more developments to come. Echo Live report that a full-scale takeover could be on the horizon, with North End – or more likely owner Trevor Hemmings given his existing holdings in Cork – now pushing to buy the Irish side outright.

As Cork are fan-owned, this isn’t exactly an easy deal, with Foras keen to retain some kind of control. The report also states that it’s Cork who contacted Preston about the sell-on clause money and additional involvement – something we have learned is correct.

Preston’s ties to Cork are strong, but much like when we ‘helped’ Morecambe out in 2016 with cash to ease their financial woes in exchange for Tom Barkhuizen, there will be personal gain for North End.

North End would likely be able to send players on loan to Cork and use them almost like a feeder or sister club, whilst having a first option on any promising Cork players moving forward.

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