Preston North End will reject Stoke City approach under any circumstances

Preston North End manager Alex Neil signed a new three-year contract in April.
Preston North End manager Alex Neil signed a new three-year contract in April.

Preston North End will reject an approach by Stoke City for manager Alex Neil under any circumstances.

Preston haven't received an official approach from Stoke, but there were reports circulating in the media that the Potters were set to appoint Neil as their new boss, but in an official statement, PNE have rubbished those claims.

Preston's statement read: "Contrary to reports on Talksport today, Preston North End Football Club can confirm the following:

"1. Stoke City Football Club have not been given permission to speak our contracted manager Alex Neil.

"2. As a result of the reports that were made this lunch time, there are now no circumstances under which Stoke City would be given permission to speak to Alex Neil.

"3. We have today reported Stoke City to the EFL for an illegal approach.

"There will be no further comment at this stage."

Neil was linked with the Potters on Friday night following the dismissal of Nathan Jones earlier in the day.

On Saturday afternoon Talksport announced Neil was set to be announced as Stoke's new manager.

But at the same time as that claim, Neil was with the North End squad and staff at Preston Station at the time, waiting to travel to London for Sunday's game against Charlton.

Neil, 38, signed a three-year contract in April in the wake of strong interest from West Bromwich Albion.

The Preston hierarchy are understood to be ready to dig their heels in on this one, unhappy that it has been played out in the public domain rather than through official channels.

It is an unwanted distraction ahead of the Charlton game at The Valley, one which is being televised on Sky Sports.