Preston North End have released a furious statement taking aim at clubs “attempting to do their bidding through the press and social media” amid reported interest from Rangers in one their players.

The Championship club took to their own website to address transfer speculation which predominantly concerns Rangers’ reported interest in Jamaican midfielder Daniel Johnson and Bournemouth links to centre-back Ben Davies.

Preston North End v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship

Preston North End have released a statement amid reports claiming Rangers are closing in on a deal for Daniel Johnson. (Photo by Mick Walker – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Peter Ridsdale, a representative of the club’s owners, railed against the ongoing media speculation surrounding their players in what appears an attempt to clear the air.

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The Preston statement reads:

Ordinarily we don’t comment on transfer speculation, however, the last few days have been frustrating as it would appear that a number of clubs are attempting to do their bidding through the press and social media.

Some of the so called ‘informed’ comments have claimed that transfer fees have been agreed between us and at least one other club for named players.

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At the time of writing this statement no bids for any of our players have been agreed. Any approaches that have been made have been underwhelming in both quantum and payment timescales.

We have always accepted that buying and selling players is a normal part of our business, but at the right price. Some of the so called ‘informed’ comments on social media are not only unhelpful, but frankly not true.

We attempt to conduct our transfer dealings club to club and only announce a deal once all parties have agreed. We have made bids for a number of players this summer but as deals were not finalised we have refrained from confirming the identity of potential targets. This will remain to be our approach.

 

If and when there is anything definitive to say for either incomings or sales we will make a factual statement at that time.

Rangers and Bournemouth heavily linked to Preston players

Rangers were said to have concluded a deal for Preston midfielder Daniel Johnson by a Daily Mirror journalist over the weekend.

This then appeared to be backed up by a leading Preston North End fan site before the Lancashire Post rebuffed these claims.

Preston North End v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship

Preston’s Daniel Johnson has been heavily linked with a move to Rangers but a club statement suggests there has been no movement on a deal. (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images,)

That report suggested that Rangers made a structured offer for Johnson below £2m which was rebuffed by the Deepdale club who are said to be awaiting Rangers’ next move.

The Lancashire Post report makes it clear that the alleged Rangers offer is considerably below Preston’s asking price.

A report in the Daily Mirror (13/09, p63) claimed that Bournemouth had made a bid of £5m for Preston defender Ben Davies with the Lilywhites looking for closer to £10m.

Both players are out of contract at the end of this season with Johnson dropped from Preston’s weekend defeat to Swansea in the Championship amid the Rangers links.

Preston North End v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship

Preston defender Ben Davies has also been linked with a move to Premier League Bournemouth. (Photo by Kevin Barnes – CameraSport via Getty Images)

It remains unclear if Rangers will return for the midfielder but it is strange that any leaks about the club’s proposed interest originate from down south.

Rangers have built up a reputation for close-knit transfer negotiations and there has rarely been any information leaked about the players the club are looking to strengthen with in recent windows.

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