Rangers were linked with Delcan Rudd last month, and the subject of his future lingers on.
Rudd is out of contract at the end of the season, meaning he could leave Deepdale in the near future. Rudd would be able to negotiate a pre-contract with a non-English side come January, or merely run down his deal and move on next summer.
The 28-year-old has started every league game for Preston this season, with mixed reviews. Rudd has improved under Jonathan Gould, but some long-standing issues – lack of command of his area and being stuck to his line – still creep through.
North End therefore face a real dilemma. Do they keep Rudd or move on? Would Rudd be happy as second choice at Deepdale?
Well, Preston have at least spoken to Rudd about a new deal. The LEP claimed last week that Preston have held talks with Rudd, and we believe there were preliminary discussions last month too.
It’s unclear whether Rudd will stay, but Preston are making attempts at least. That’s just one sign that he won’t be heading to Rangers after all, after Football Insider claimed they were interested last month.
Additionally, The Scottish Sun report that Rangers are planning to sign St Mirren goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky on a pre-contract agreement in January, eyeing the 28-year-old as new cover for Allan McGregor.
There’s no way that Rangers sign both Rudd and Hladky, so a move to Ibrox seems unlikely. However, we believe there is some new interest in Rudd’s signature.
A top six Championship side, that we believe to be Swansea City, have at least shown some interest. Their first-choice stopper Freddie Woodman is only on loan, meaning they’ll be looking for a replacement.
Rudd could fit the bill, but unless they make a January bid, they’d have to wait until summer to sign him for free. Though Swansea are of course Welsh, they are still bound by the same pre-contract rules as English clubs.
The coming weeks will show Preston’s intentions, as if they really want to keep Rudd, they won’t want to risk losing him on a pre-contract to Rangers in January. For now, he’ll remain as Preston’s first-choice; beyond that, who knows?