For the second time in just a few months, an exciting young striker appears to be heading to Preston North End despite reported interest from Celtic.
As reported by the Daily Record, the Scottish Premiership champions sent scouts to watch Sean Maguire in action for Cork City last season and with good reason. The one-time West Ham youngster was simply unstoppable in Ireland last season, netting 23 times in 27 games.
But when it came down to it, Preston managed to lure the prolific striker back to England while Celtic missed out.
And it appears that Alex Neil’s Lilywhites could repeat the trick this month. Because TEAMtalk say that the Championship side have beaten off competition from Celtic, as well as Everton, Newcastle and West Ham, to the sought-after signature of 17-year-old Connor Simpson.
The promising Hartlepool United targetman, who has been likened to fellow North Eastern battering ram Andy Carroll, was another young talent that Celtic had been impressed by. But instead of making the move north of the border, Simpson will instead become the third striker to join Preston in January following Lewis Moult and Billy Bodin.
Time will tell, however, whether he and Maguire have made the right call.
Maguire certainly made an impressive start, scoring three times and assisting another four before being ruled out for a number of months with a serious hamstring injury. Simpson will be hoping to make a similarly impressive impact, even if he may have to bide his time for a chance in the first-team.
But Brendan Rodgers is arguably the best manager in Britain when it comes to helping young players realise their potential. Although Maguire and Simpson will not be following in the footsteps of Moussa Dembele and co at Parkhead.