Preston’s transfer window was a little disappointing, with big signings failing to materialise for Alex Neil and co.
Even after selling Callum Robinson to Sheffield United, North End still only brought in one cash signing. That was a little frustrating for many, with a perceived lack of ambition from the Lilywhites.
One target North End had targeted to replace Robinson was Scott Sinclair, which alway seemed a little ambitious. Cynically, it looked like the kind of target Preston had identified so they could say they ‘tried’ to get a big name in.
The Glasgow Evening Times claimed Preston wanted Sinclair for £2.5million, which would have been a club record. Add in his considerable wages, and funding a move looked difficult at best.
The LEP later said North End wanted Sinclair on loan, which Celtic weren’t willing to sanction. That’s no great surprise, as Sinclair is out of contract next summer. The Bhoys were hardly going to let him see out the final year of his deal with another club.
Sinclair was recently left out of the Celtic side to face CFR Cluj, with a view to joining an English side. No move materialised though, and Sinclair’s situation is growing stranger and stranger.
Last night, Celtic took on AIK in their Europa League qualifier, having crashed out of the Champions League qualifiers to Cluj without Sinclair. Still, Sinclair was left out of the matchday squad by Lennon.
Fans have been left baffled by Lennon’s decision to use Mikey Johnston and even Lewis Morgan over Sinclair. It’s clear that the 30-year-old has little future at Celtic, but he’s running out of options.
Premier League and Championship clubs can’t sign him anymore, whilst League One and other Scottish clubs can’t afford him. There’s suddenly a very real prospect of Sinclair having to sit on the sidelines until January in a sorry state of affairs.
You can even argue that Sinclair may even wish that a move to Deepdale had materialised. Playing regularly, even in the Championship, has to be better than being wasted on the sidelines under a manager who clearly doesn’t want him.
It would be wise for Preston to keep Sinclair on the radar as a result. That £2.5million fee certainly won’t be in place come January, with Sinclair sat on the sidelines and his contract approaching its end.
Adding a player like Sinclair would give North End a real boost in January, especially if a playoff place is within reach. For now, Sinclair is being left in the shadows at Parkhead – and Preston must be keeping one eye on his situation.