League One clubs in fight to sign Preston striker Jayden Stockley
Jayden Stockley is edging closer to an exit from Preston North End with Portsmouth his likely destination.
The striker has plenty of interest in him, with four clubs in League One having put in bids for him.
It is Portsmouth who look further down the path to securing a deal, that a move which makes sense from Stockley’s point of view.
He hails from Poole which is along the South Coast from Pompey, while he had a loan spell at Fratton Park a few years ago which gave him a feel for the club.
Charlton Athletic, for who Stockley played on loan in the second-half of last season, are understood to made a bid for the 6ft 3in centre forward.
It’s believed that Sheffield Wednesday have also registered an interest.
The bids which have come in for Stockley are in a very similar ballpark and it is up to Stockley where he wants to go.
From North End’s point of view, they will get a fee and create room on the wage bill and in the 25-man squad.
Any fee would also include add-ons, one of them a payment in the event of the club he goes to getting promotion.
That suggests the interest has been from clubs expected to be pushing in the upper reaches of League One.
If a deal did get done, it would end a 30-month stay at Deepdale for Stockley.
He joined PNE in January 2019 from Exeter City in a £750,000 deal, arriving as English football’s highest scorer in 2018.
Transferring that rate of scoring from League Two to the Championship has been tricky but in Stockley they’ve had a willing worker who didn’t always get his chance.
Stockley netted nine goals in Preston colours, with one of his stand-out performances being in October 2019 when he came on as a sub in the derby against Blackburn after just half an hour with PNE trailing 2-0 and struggling.
His physicality and ability in the air helped turn the game on its head with Preston running out 3-2 winners.
Stockley has pointed to an absence of a run in the side as a reason to want to try pastures new. In football’s restart period last year, he scored in successive games and was then benched for the next match.
Loaned out to Charlton in January, Stockley scored eight goals in 20 starts.
His loan at Portsmouth came in the first-half of the 2015/16 when a Bournemouth player. He scored twice in four League Two starts and five sub appearances.
That was one of eight loans he had from Bournemouth before clinching a permanent move to Aberdeen in June 2016. Stockley had a year in Scotland before moving south to join Exeter.
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