PNE poised to land ‘rock’ of Gibraltar

New face: Scott Wiseman is on the verge of joining Preston North End
New face: Scott Wiseman is on the verge of joining Preston North End
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Preston North End were today set to give their promotion-chasing squad a boost with the signing of Barnsley defender Scott Wiseman.

The 28-year-old was having a medical after agreeing terms on a permanent move to Deepdale.

Hull-born Wiseman, who has been capped by international minnows Gibraltar, will offer defensive options to PNE boss Simon Grayson.

He can play at centre-half, right-back and right 
wing-back, and was a player Grayson was interested in signing when he was in charge at Huddersfield.

Providing the medical runs smoothly, the defender will be in the North End squad for Saturday’s visit to Wolves.

The swoop for Wiseman will be the fourth piece of PNE transfer business done in the January window. Paul Gallagher extended his loan from Leicester until the end of the season, while Alan Browne completed an earlier-agreed move from Cork City.

Earlier this week, Neil Kilkenny signed a full-time contract until the end of the season after a successful loan spell from Bristol City.

Grayson is keen to add some defensive cover as he bids to make a determined push for promotion over the second half of the campaign.

Wiseman, who possesses plenty of pace, had been a regular in the Barnsley side this season, making 25 appearances.

His career started at home-town club Hull City, and had loan spells at Boston, Rotherham and Darlington during his time there.

He made a permanent move to Darlington in 2007, then moved on to Rochdale where he made more than a century of starts.

In July 2011, he joined Barnsley on a Bosman, making 97 starts and 14 substitute appearances.

Blackpool tried to sign him last year but the deal fell through when Michael Appleton left the Seasiders.

He is in the final few months of his contract at Oakwell.

Although Wiseman represented England at Under-20s level, in November he chose to play for Gibraltar after they were accepted as UEFA’s 54th member country.

He qualified to play for them as his mother was born in the British territory.

Wiseman made his Gibraltar debut in a goalless draw with Slovakia, and Gib will be involved in the qualifying rounds for Euro 2016.

Meanwhile, North End skipper John Welsh predicts that the clash with Wolves will be a tight game – as it was on the opening day of the season at Deepdale.

The midfielder said: “It was quite cagey at our place.

“It was the first game of the season and no one wanted to give anything away really.

“The game panned out into a 0-0 draw and probably both sides were happy with that.

“If we can go to Wolves on Saturday and keep another clean sheet, we have players at the other end of the pitch with the ability to score goals. We are looking forward to it.”