Lessons to be learnt for Preston North End as rivals Blackburn Rovers could bank £12m-plus as latest midfielder interest emerges

Alan Brown, left, and Blackburn Rovers' Sammie SzmodicsAlan Brown, left, and Blackburn Rovers' Sammie Szmodics
Alan Brown, left, and Blackburn Rovers' Sammie Szmodics | Getty Images
Alan BrownE has made 314 league starts for Preston North End after arriving from Cork City on a free transfer in 2014

Preston North End fans aren’t the only ones currently burdened with not knowing what the future holds for one of their star performers.

The Alan Browne will he, won’t he saga has been at the centre of many fans’ thoughts for quite some time now. Indeed, it’s got to the point now where Lilywhites just want a decision one way or another so that all parties can move on and start planning ahead.

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Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers are in a similar boat with star midfielder Sammie Szmodics, who has been linked with the likes of Everton, Luton,  Brentford, Leicester and Coventry, to name a few, after finishing this season’s Championship as the division’s top scorer.

But while Browne can walk away from Deepdale this summer on a free transfer and leave PNE empty handed, the Ewood coffers will be swelled handsomely if the decision is made to let Szmodics depart. And with a host of clubs from home and abroad reportedly interested, any potential auction will help drive up the mega-money price Rovers can expect.

The latest figure quoted is £12m for Browne’s new Republic of Ireland international team-mate. That’s come from TEAMtalk, who have claimed newly-crowned Turkish Super Lig side Galatasaray are now weighing up a move for a player who scored 33 goals in all competitions for Rovers this season. 

That’s well short of the £20m figure other reports in recent weeks have mentioned. However, whatever fee is eventually reached will be significantly more than the zero pounds Preston will receive if Browne decides to call time on his 10 years at Deepdale.

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With Rovers already banking £18m for the sale of Adam Wharton to Crystal Palace in January, Preston’s rivals look in a better position to revitalise and strengthen their squad during the forthcoming transfer window.

Maybe PNE holding out hope that Browne would accept the lucrative deal put to him was the wrong tactic from the beginning.

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