Want-away midfielder Alan McCormack is back at Southend on loan – just days after slapping in a transfer request.
The move comes only 24 hours after the Irishman was told he would have to wait to get away from North End.
McCormack travelled down to Roots Hall yesterday to complete the paperwork on a temporary move until January 1.
The two clubs are expected to make the deal permanent once the transfer window opens.
It will be his second spell at the Essex club – he had two months there on loan at the end of the 2004/05 season. He spent last season on loan at Motherwell.
The news ends a confusing 72 hours at Deepdale during which furious manager Paul Simpson first told the 22-year-old he was in no rush to grant his shock request.
"To be honest I have other things to think about at the moment," he said late on Thursday.
"That will have to wait until I get the chance to speak to the chairman about it and decide what is best for the club.
"We have him under contract until the end of the season and he is going to have to wait and see whether anyone is interested in taking him."
But hours after that statement, the player was travelling south to sign for the Championship's bottom club in time to be on the bench for this afternoon's home game with Plymouth Argyle.
Dublin-born McCormack has been unsettled for some time after failing to force his way into the PNE starting line-up. He has played just three times this season – all of them as a substitute.
His written transfer request was submitted earlier this week.
Announcing the move last night, Southend's assistant manager Paul Brush said: "We have wanted to bring Alan in for a few weeks now. Obviously we are pleased we have managed to sign him as he will offer is something different in midfield.
"Alan is not afraid to put his foot in where it is needed and you need a bit of that in the Championship. But he can play a bit as well, so he should fit nicely in our side. He knows most of the boys from his time here in League Two, as well as knowing Steven Hammell from when he was on loan at Motherwell."
McCormack made eight appearances for Southend in 2005, scoring two goals and helping the club towards promotion from League Two.
But he was recalled to Deepdale by Billy Davies before the
play-offs as North End needed him for cover in their play-off campaign.