Preston remain in the market for a new centre back this month, with two possibly on the radar for Alex Neil.
North End have lost Patrick Bauer until the end of the season, whilst Ben Davies could yet move on to Celtic before Monday’s transfer deadline.
Jordan Storey’s shaky season means he can’t really be relied upon as Paul Huntington’s partner, and Preston don’t have any other centre backs to call upon.
Landing a loan signing to cover until Bauer returns this summer would be ideal, and Taylor Harwood-Bellis has been touted as a possible target.
The Sun on Sunday (03/01, p57) reported that Preston were interested in taking Manchester City talent Harwood-Bellis on loan, but faced competition from Blackburn Rovers.
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Tony Mowbray’s men ended up signing Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite on loan instead, and some were wondering whether that left Preston in the driving seat to secure Harwood-Bellis for the rest of the season.
However, The Athletic now report that Pep Guardiola has decided to keep Harwood-Bellis, believing that he is needed as cover at the Etihad Stadium with squad depth important due to the ongoing pandemic.
Harwood-Bellis, 18, has played four first-team games this season, and looks to be a talent for the future. A spell in the Championship could have aided his development, but internal talks mean City have rejected offers and will keep the teenager in Manchester.