Manchester City’s ex-Preston North End loan star Brandon Barker interesting Celtic

Former Preston North End loanee Brandon Barker could be heading to Celtic.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 1:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 2:57 pm
Former PNE loanee Brandon Barker has been linked with a summer move to Celtic

Barker spent last season on loan at PNE from Manchester City, a campaign which was twice interrupted by injury.

In spells the winger caught the eye but his injury record was a concern and counted against him in terms of him coming back to Deepdale.

Now it is being reported that Scottish Treble winners Celtic are eyeing up a move for the 22-year-old. The link between Celtic and Barker is Neil Lennon who has been appointed manager at Celtic Park after a spell as interim boss.

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Barker played under Lennon at Hibernian when he spent the 2017/18 campaign on loan at Easter Road.

He had a regular run of games at Hibs but had a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury – the same problem he had at North End.

Barker came to Deepdale last August in the second week of the season, coming on for his debut in the 1-0 defeat at Swansea City.

He played 20 games in all but only nine of those were starts.

His two goals both came in the League Cup, against Morecambe in the first round and then a stunning solo effort in the second-round win over Leeds United at Elland Road.

Barker first damaged his hamstring in the early stages of PNE’s 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest in December.

He returned to the squad as a substitute in January’s FA Cup defeat to Doncaster but did not feature again until March when a three-game run as a sub against Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Birmingham saw him caught the eye.

A fourth sub appearance at Reading was to end Barker’s season, with him tearing his hamstring 10 minutes after coming on.

Lukas Nmecha, who like Barker spent the season on loan at PNE from City, could move to a Bundesliga club on loan this summer in the next stage of his development.