Preston North End close in on deal for Middlesbrough goalkeeper Connor Ripley

Connor Ripley in action for Accrington
Connor Ripley in action for Accrington

Preston North End look are closing in on a deal for Middlesbrough goalkeeper Connor Ripley.

The 25-year-old has impressed on loan at Accrington in League One this season, Stanley chairman Andy Holt revealing on Wednesday morning that the Lilywhites are in talks with Ripley.

PNE are on the hunt for someone to provide competition for Declan Rudd after allowing Chris Maxwell to join Charlton on loan until the end of the season on Tuesday.

Ripley has played 24 times for Accrington this season and kept five clean sheets with reports suggesting North End have beaten another Championship club to his signature.

Alex Neil confirmed at his press conference on Wednesday morning that bringing in a new 'keeper was next on PNE's agenda after signing forward players Brad Potts, Jayden Stockley and Josh Ginnelly as they made a fast start to the January transfer window.

"We'll bring in more competition in the goalkeeping department," said Neil.

"That's something we've been looking for a few weeks given the situation with Chris."

North End have focused their attentions on Ripley, who has also had loan spells at Oldham, Motherwell and Ostersund in Sweden, having been knocked back in an approach to Burnley about the availability of their England international goalkeepers Joe Hart, Tom Heaton and Nick Pope.

"I can't divulge anything that's going to be interesting to be honest," said Neil.

"Burnley have got three good goalkeepers, everybody's aware of that, but at the end of the day they are Burnley's goalkeepers.

"That's pretty much as far as it goes."