Coutts won’t reunite with ex-PNE boss

Former North End boss: Ferguson
Former North End boss: Ferguson
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Preston North End midfielder Paul Coutts has turned down the chance of being reunited with Darren Ferguson at Peterborough.

Posh had a bid for the Scotsman accepted by North End.

But it is understood that a move back to London Road –Peterborough sold him to PNE in January 2010 – fell through yesterday after Coutts failed to agree personal terms.

It was Fergie Jnr who signed him for Peterborough from Highland League club Cove Rangers.

And when he took over as North End manager two-and-a-half years ago, Coutts followed him to Deepdale.

While there has been speculation about Hull being interested in the 23-year-old, it is understood there has been no contact from the Tigers.

Joining Posh would have given Coutts the opportunity of playing Championship football again.

But a move away from Deepdale for Coutts still seems likely this summer.

North End need to keep their budget in line with the new Football League financial fair play rules, which come into force in League One this season.

Coutts is one of their biggest assets and also towards the top end of the club’s wage scale.

He had an uneasy relationship with Graham Westley last season.

In the build-up to Westley’s first game in charge, Coutts discussed the possibility of handing in a transfer request.

And a few weeks later, he was stripped of the captaincy by Westley – caretaker pair Graham Alexander and David Unsworth handed him the armband during their stint in charge.

But he was to regain the skipper’s job for the final two games of the season.

At the moment, Coutts is the only North End player attracting attention.

No bids have come in for the transfer-listed Darel Russell, Barry Nicholson, Juvel Tsoumou, Conor McLaughlin and Keammar Daley.

And despite speculation doing the rounds, there’s been no interest expressed in last season’s leading scorer Iain Hume.

The 10-goal striker will be back in training next week following his spell on international duty with Canada.

PNE chairman Peter Ridsdale wouldn’t be drawn on speculation involving individual players.

But he did confirm there would have to be outgoing deals done before setting the ball rolling again on adding to the squad.

Ridsdale said: “Before we can bring some more players in, we need to move some of current squad out.

“We’ve got people lined up to come in but room needs to be made. This is the first season that the financial fair play rules are being enforced in League One.

“They were voluntary last season, but this time clubs can’t spend more than 65% of their turnover on wages.

“If you go above that figure, you get hit by a transfer embargo.”

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