Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis has told The Teesside Gazette that there are anumber of clauses in Connor Ripley’s Preston move.

Boro had loaned goalkeeper Ripley out to Accrington for the season, butcut that deal short last week.

Pulis’s men then sold Ripley to North End for an undisclosed fee, allowing the 25-year-old to leave his boyhood club.

Ripley came up through the Boro ranks, but failed to break into theirfirst-team. Instead, he went out on loan to a host of clubs, including Motherwell, Oldham, Burton Albion and Accrington.

Ripley was on the bench as Preston drew 1-1 with Swansea City on Saturday afternoon, and will push Declan Rudd. The hope is that he can replace Rudd moving forward, becoming North End’s No. 1.

Intriguingly though, it seems Boro weren’t keen to let Ripley leave without inserting some specific clauses into the deal.

SHREWSBURY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Connor Ripley of Oldham Athletic during the Sky Bet League One match between Shrewsbury Town and Oldham Athletic at Greenhous Meadow on January 21, 2017 in Shrewsbury, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

Boss Pulis has confirmed that Boro not only have a ‘massive’ sell-on clause in the deal, but also have first option to re-sign Ripley.

“He’s got the potential to be a top keeper,” said Pulis. “What we’ve done is we’ve given him the chance. He’s 25, he’s not 19, he’s 25. He now needs to go and put roots down and prove he’s going to be a top keeper.”

“We’re well covered,” he said. We’ve got a massive sell-on and first option to buy him back. It’s a great deal for the kid, not just the football club. That’s what people have to understand, if you’re a decent football club you look after your people as well and that’s what we’ve done,” he added.

Ripley could feasibly return to Boro one day as a result, but must impress with North End first.

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