Deja vu for Preston North End as Tom Cannon linked with Middlesbrough transfer

Tom Cannon evades a challenge from Middlesbrough’s Darragh LenihanTom Cannon evades a challenge from Middlesbrough’s Darragh Lenihan
Tom Cannon evades a challenge from Middlesbrough’s Darragh Lenihan | CameraSport - Lee Parker
The Everton striker has been the subject of transfer speculation throughout the summer after his loan spell with PNE last season

Preston North End’s hopes of landing Tom Cannon on loan from Everton have plummeted in recent days - and he may now head elsewhere in the Championship.

For the second season in a row, Middlesbrough are being linked with a previous PNE loan star. It is being reported that Boro are eyeing a last gasp swoop for the Toffees man, who is understood to have a valuation of £5-7million. Fellow Championship side Sunderland are also said to be interested.

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North End have been in for Cannon all summer long and their loan offer remains on the table. But, a permanent exit from Goodison Park is now very much on the cards for Cannon, who has made one substitute appearance for Everton this season. Manager Sean Dyche has added Youssef Chermiti, Beto and Arnaut Danjuma to his Toffees front line this summer, with Cannon down the pecking order as a result.

North End are desperate to strengthen their attack before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Friday. Cannon has been manager Ryan Lowe’s number one target and there has been belief throughout the summer that Preston would bring the striker back to Deepdale - after his eight-goal spell in the second half of last season.

But, just like with Cameron Archer in the previous campaign, the Riverside club could pip PNE to the signing. North End have a pot of money left to dip into this summer, which would’ve helped secure another loan deal. However, given the aforementioned asking price, Preston will need to move on to alternative options and get further business done swiftly ahead of Friday’s deadline.

The club are looking both domestically and overseas, with Lowe having explained North End’s ‘Plan B’ to sign two or three players - should a move for Cannon not materialise. One player to be linked in recent days is Cadiz striker Milutin Osmajic, but Hellas Verona are understood to be leading the race to sign the 24-year-old permanently.

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