Busy day at Preston North End with more transfer business to come

Preston North End’s busy transfer window picked up further speed yesterday with the arrival of a familiar face and potential exits for two of their big hitters.

Friday, 29th January 2021, 8:00 am

Greg Cunningham made his return to Deepdale after two-and-a-half years away.

The left-back has joined on loan from Cardiff City for the rest of the season and will be in the squad for tomorrow’s visit to Sheffield Wednesday.

Ben Pearson and Ben Davies look to be heading out of PNE though, but that might not be until the end of the campaign in Davies’ case.

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Greg Cunningham has returned to Deepdale (photo: PNEFC)

Pearson is in talks with Bournemouth over a move to the Vitality Stadium which should get completed today.

Central defender Davies has reportedly signed a pre-contract agreement with Celtic which would see him move at the end of his current deal in the summer.

Cunningham is the fifth arrival of the window and the fourth on loan – the limit for a matchday squad is five loan players.

Going the other way, Josh Harrop, Jayden Stockley and Ethan Walker have been loaned out.

Josh Earl is to follow them out on loan after the weekend now that Cunningham has come to provide competition at left-back.

Cunningham admits to a feeling of unfinished business now that he is back.

He spent three seasons here, his last game being a 2-1 win over Burton Albion in May 2018 which was not quite enough to get North End into the play-offs.

“The three years here were the best of my career,” Cunningham told the Lancashire Post.

“I had some great times but I feel I have some unfinished business. We just missed out on the play-offs in my last year, going toe to toe with Derby County for that last play-off spot. It just wasn’t to be.

“That stuck with me over that summer, it was a tough one to take because I felt we had a good enough squad.

“Since then a lot of the lads have matured and the club has recruited really well in this window. I think we are in a great position and it is about making sure we can do something exciting.”

Cunningham’s contract at Cardiff runs out in June so a strong loan spell could well see him land a permanent move.

The Irishman, who turns 30 on Sunday, says the move to South Wales did not turn out as he wished but was something he had to try.

Said Cunningham: “It was an opportunity to play in the Premier League. I played some games but didn’t play as many as I wanted. There were some nice points in my time at Cardiff but some frustrating ones too.”

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