We’re only a few days into the winter transfer window and, for once, there are tons of rumours flying around in regards to Preston North End, with the club clearly looking to do a lot more business this window.
As we did during the summer window, we’ll be doing regular articles compiling all the latest rumours and news from news outlets and on social media – and boy, is there plenty to get into already.
Ben Whiteman wanted by PNE
The first deal, and one with the most legs, to be done this month is for Doncaster Rovers midfielder Ben Whiteman. The player is reportedly a definite target for the Lilywhites, with the Lancashire Evening Post reporting that they have been in touch with him.
However, as a club, we’ll face competition for his signature. He’s been wanted in the past by various other Championship sides and it looks like QPR are also in the race – along with Alex Neil’s men – for his signature this window.
Whiteman has been largely impressive for Doncaster and would be an astute signing for us. With Pearson potentially out the exit – more on that later in this article – he could prove to be a solid replacement for the former Man United man.
He’s played over 140 League One games during his career so far and has yet to make the step up to the Championship. At just 24-years old and with plenty of promise though, this is indeed the kind of signing we want to be making as a club.
Ched Evans linked with Deepdale transfer switch
Evans is a name less likely to invoke a positive response in the North End faithful if he does join us – and that itself might be the understatement of the century with a multitude of PNE fans taking to Twitter to express their outrage at his potential signing and threaten the club with a lack of support if he does complete a deal.
The rumour has been doing the rounds frequently lately, with some sources claiming a deal is on while others are rubbishing the reports entirely.
However, the deal does look like it could be going ahead for the player, with North End seemingly interested in taking the striker on a loan deal until the end of the current campaign.
However, Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has since been relieved of his duties as manager at the club – and it could be down to a potential Evans move. According to LancsLive, Barton ensured that the 32-year old would play no further part at the club as long as he was in charge and he obviously no longer is manager at the side.
Let’s hope the deal doesn’t materialise now Barton has left. Evans is not only unproven at this level for a number of years but he isn’t much of an improvement – if any – on our current frontline. Add in the fact he is ageing (a 32-year old is not the type of signing we should be making, have we learned nothing from David Nugent?) and not even mentioning his behavioural issues and past discretions (which we do not want our great club to be linked to in any way, shape or form) and it adds up to a terrible piece of business.
Ben Pearson in pre-contract Celtic talks
As already mentioned on site in a separate article, Ben Pearson is believed to have been in touch with Celtic in regards to a pre-contract agreement with the Scottish side.
The midfielder’s contract runs out in the summer and if he does agree to move to Celtic at the end of the current campaign, it means that our best player would be available to leave for nothing in the summer.
Again, it’s another bad piece of business from the club. To only try and tie down our best assets this window – leaving them open to moves on free transfers at the end of the season – means that we could ultimately recoup zero in fees for some of our most important stars.
Pearson is a man who has quickly become arguably our best player. It would be sad to see him leave but if Whiteman does come in, that could be a solid replacement for the 25-year old.
Jayson Moulmby wanted by both Preston and Millwall
According to The Argus, the Moulmby could be about to move back into the Championship on a loan deal. The Brighton and Hove Albion man would not be able to get much game time in the Premier League this season, so is after a return to the second tier in pursuit of a first-team spot.
According to a few reports now, North End are keen to bring him in.
If we can sign him over Millwall, it sounds another good signing for us. Moulmby has proven to be solid at this level – so much so that Millwall are eager to bring him back to the club.
To sign him – even on a loan deal – would be a great move in our opinion.
Twitter talk links both Lewis Wing and Taylor Harwood-Bellis
As for talk on social media, we’ve been linked with a further two players. Middlesbrough winger Lewis Wing and Man City youngster Taylor Harwood-Bellis are two more names that have been rumoured to be on the way to Deepdale so far this month.
Wing is a player who would offer us an additional option on the wing and one that certainly knows where the back of the net is too – he’s managed a total of 19 goal contributions in 50 starts in the second tier so far.
As for Harwood-Bellis, the 18-year old is another who would join the club on a short-term basis but would be seen as a probable replacement for the injured Patrick Bauer.
City fans have raved about the young centre-back and he impressed many at Deepdale with his showing as the Premier League side beat North End 3-0 in the EFL Cup in 2019.
It sounds like it could be a busy window for North End both in terms of ingoings and outgoings. Let’s hope that we can do enough in the window to let us be back up towards the top end of the Championship table.