Sunderland interest emerges as Preston North End could face summer transfer competition

Liam MillarLiam Millar
Liam Millar | Getty Images
The ex-Liverpool man has shone on loan for PNE this season

Liam Millar has been a shining light for Preston North End this season, but the Canadian's performances have reportedly caught the eye of one Championship rival.

According to reports, Sunderland see the former Liverpool man - who is on loan at Deepdale from FC Basel - as a suitable replacement for Jack Clarke. The 23-year-old has been a star performer in the Championship over the last couple of seasons and is said to have a £18million price tag.

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Clarke, formerly of Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur, has provided 36 goal contributions in a season-and-a-half for the Black Cats. Millar is with PNE until the summer and the Lilywhites have hopes of signing him permanently, but Sunderland would provide stern competition.

When asked about the situation with Millar in November, director Peter Ridsdale told the Lancashire Post: "It is a straight loan deal. The answer to whether he will go back to Basel in the summer depends on what I do between now and next summer. I get the impression that he loves being at Preston North End.

"If that is the case and there's a deal to be done with Basel, we will be talking to them. At this stage, I would not presume he's going back to Basel at the end of this season. But, there is no deal done yet. He's a good player, a young player and an international. He's exactly what we want and people love to see players with pace, taking defenders on and that's what he does."

Club captain Alan Browne also sung Millar's praises on Boxing Day, saying: "I don't think we've had someone similar to that, probably since (Aiden) McGeady in terms of one-v-one. We've had some pace and got past players that way, but to actually have that skill to go past a player - it's quite rare in football now actually. So yeah, he's one hell of a player and hopefully he continues it for the rest of the season because he's a really important player for us.

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"I know he wanted to come back to England and he seems really settled. We've welcomed him with open arms, as we do with everyone and I think that is important for players as well. I have no doubt he'll have interest from everywhere; he's that good of a player. Hopefully, come the end of the season he will want to be here."

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