Preston North End’s swoop for goalkeeper Jamie Jones from Leyton Orient means the end of Declan Rudd’s time at the club.
North End moved quickly to secure Jones on a two-year deal –which starts on July 1 – after Norwich City refused to allow Rudd to extend his loan stay at Deepdale.
Twenty-three-year-old Rudd made 55 appearances between the sticks last season after agreeing to a year-long temporary switch on the eve of the campaign.
He had initially impressed at PNE the season before after being signed on loan by previous boss Graham Westley. However, recently-relegated Norwich had made it clear that they wanted Rudd back at Carrow Road.
And even if the Canaries’ current No.1, England international John Ruddy stays at the Championship outfit – which is expected – there was no prospect of the former England Under-21s star returning for a third spell.
Despite Rudd’s excellent form last season, it is understood North End were keen to have their own permanent No.1 rather than a keeper borrowed from another club.
Jones, who is from Kirkby in Merseyside, has made nearly 200 appearances for Orient.
He was an integral member of Russell Slade’s squad which finished in third spot in League One last season – two places above PNE – but lost out to Rotherham on penalties in the play-off final.
Meanwhile, midfielder Neil Kilkenny is mulling over an offer to stay at PNE on a permanent basis.
The club also revealed that they have been in lengthy discussions with Leicester this week over extending Paul Gallagher’s loan stay.
And Steve Wales has joined North End from local rivals Blackpool as the club’s new kitman.