PNE deny move for Hamilton skipper Michael Devlin

Michael Devlin (right) in action for Hamilton
Michael Devlin (right) in action for Hamilton

Preston North End were drawn into a strange transfer saga involving Hamilton Academical defender Michael Devlin on Wednesday afternoon.

A statement posted on the Accies' official said that a financial agreement had been reached with North End over the transfer of their club captain and that permission had been granted for him to have talks at Deepdale.

PNE boss Alex Neil

PNE boss Alex Neil

However, PNE say there no agreement is in place and club sources say none of the club hierarchy who deal with transfers have had contact with Hamilton - the club who Alex Neil played for and managed.

North End tweeted on their official Twitter account: "Preston North End can confirm that contrary to reports north of the border there is no agreement in place with regards to Hamilton’s Michael Devlin."

Accies' statement had read: "We now have a financial agreement with Preston North End for the transfer of Michael.

"The player has been granted permission to visit Deepdale and discuss terms.

"In the event that Michael departs in this window it will be with the club’s best wishes.

He has been an outstanding graduate from our academy and an inspiring club captain."

The 24-year-old central defender is currently out of action as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee which he suffered last May - he is unlikely to be fit to play until March.

He is obviously a player well known to PNE boss Neil, with Neil having been a team-mate and his manager.

Aberdeen have made a bid for Devlin and are prepared to take him now even with the injury.

It might be that the report of Preston's supposed interest is an attempt to speed that deal along.

North End are well covered at the back, with Tom Clarke, Paul Huntington, Ben Davies, Tommy Spurr, Andy Boyle and Calum Woods all able to play in the centre of defence.

While Davies picked-up a slight hamstring strain in last week's 1-1 draw with Birmingham, Spurr is edging closer to a return after surgery to repair a torn medial ligament.