HITC Sport understands the race for the midfielder is down to three clubs
The 20-year-old is currently on loan at League One club Barnsley, where he has been in sparkling form since joining in January and has helped them to the brink of the play-offs as well as success in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Barnsley would love to sign him on a permanent deal but they know they would struggle to match offers from other clubs involved.
Brownhill is out of contract at Deepdale in the summer, and he has already made it clear that he is highly unlikely to be signing a new deal with them.
Preston will be due some compensation as he is under 23, although that would have been far less had Brownill pursued interest coming from Old Firm duo Celtic and Rangers, but the player is keen to remain in England.