Leeds United transfer claim made amid Preston North End and Blackburn 'approach' for Chelsea rising star

Alfie Gilchrist in Premier League action for Chelsea against Spurs in May Alfie Gilchrist in Premier League action for Chelsea against Spurs in May
Alfie Gilchrist in Premier League action for Chelsea against Spurs in May | Getty Images
Alfie Gilchrist has been linked with a move to Preston ahead of the transfer window opening on Friday

Preston North End remain interested in young Chelsea defender Alfie Gilchrist, according to reports.

Last month it was revealed that Lilywhites boss Ryan Lowe was keen to bring the 20-year-old to Deepdale on a season-long loan deal - as he bids to assemble a squad which can improve on last season’s 10th-placed Championship finish.

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Leeds, Blackburn, Millwall and Swansea were also credited with an interest in the London-born youngster - who made 17 appearances in all competitions for the Blues last season during his breakthrough campaign at Stamford Bridge. One of those outings came against North End in the FA Cup, as Gilchrist started the third-round game in the capital which the hosts won 4-0.

Now Lowe’s desire to work with the player has been reinforced by respected ‘transfer expert’ Ben Jacobs. But speaking on the Leeds United-orientated JustJoe Football Show, the journalist suggested a move to Elland Road would appeal to the Chelsea Academy product.

Confirming North End’s interest, Jacobs said: ‘Leeds, Preston and Blackburn are the three clubs who have made a formative approach so far. To all intents and purposes, Gilchrist would be open to a Leeds move.

‘He’s obviously got great respect, though I know Chelsea and Leeds have their own rivalry, nonetheless, he would go there, and he would be very willing to fight and try to get promoted.’ PNE are yet to make any of their transfer dealings public ahead of the transfer window officially opening on Friday. However, director Peter Ridsdale has admitted a busy summer of transfer activity is on the cards at Deepdale this summer.

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Gilchrist, who can play at either centre-back or right-back, will be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge on loan to further his development. Last week Chelsea announced the free transfer signing of Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo that will increase competition for places in west London next season even further.

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