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PNE line up trio of signings to follow Moult deal

Louis Moult will join Preston on January 1
Louis Moult will join Preston on January 1

Preston expect Louis Moult to be followed into Deepdale by another three signings next month.

The Lilywhites started their new year shopping early by announcing yesterday the signing of striker Moult from Motherwell.

He will join on January 1, North End having agreed an undisclosed fee with ’Well for his services.

While not as far down the line with their other targets as they are with Moult, PNE are making good progress.

Moult will arrive at North End boasting a one-in-two goals-per-game ratio during his two-and-a-half years north of the border.

Looking ahead to the move, Moult said: “In my career it is a step in the right direction – it is Championship football.

“It is a massive compliment that Championship clubs were looking at me and that Preston have come and got me.

“It shows how much they wanted me through the door by the fact they have paid a fee.

“I appreciate that and it is up to me to repay that faith.”

The 25-year-old is a player who PNE have tracked since the summer.

He was one of a number of strikers they watched when the uncertainty over Jordan Hugill’s future surfaced.

They have maintained that interest since and made their move earlier in the month.

With Moult out of contract in May, FIFA rules allowed him to speak with clubs outside of Scotland.

Rather than see the player leave for nothing on a Bosman in the summer, Motherwell came to the negotiating table and agreed an undisclosed fee with PNE.

The deal was struck very amicably, North End sources describing the SPL club as ‘professional and a pleasure to deal with’.

Ideally, Preston see Moult as competition for Hugill and not a replacement.

But if Hugill was to attract a big-money bid in January and be sold, they would look to sign another striker.

On the pitch, North End’s focus is on tomorrow’s home clash with Sheffield United.

It is a game which PNE boss Alex Neil predicts will be open and potentially very exciting.

Neil said: “It will be very competitive and I think there will be chances.

“Both sets of players are good, honest, hard-working lads who will go toe to toe.

“It should be open and very exciting.

“As a football fan, you want to see good games, you want entertainment and goals.

“Hopefully we can deliver that and continue our good run of form.

“What has pleased me is that we have started to get more victories.

“Earlier in the season I got a bit frustrated when we were drawing games we should have been winning.”