Preston North End boss Alex Neil thrilled to pull off major coup by signing Man City starlet Lukas Nmecha

Lukas Nmecha
Lukas Nmecha

Preston beat off competition from five clubs to complete their pre-deadline shopping with the loan signing of Lukas Nmecha.

For the second time in 48 hours PNE did business with Manchester City, the arrival of striker Nmecha following that of Brandon Barker.

Nmecha, 19, was in City’s squad for the second-half of last season and made three substitute appearances.

Tomorrow’s opponents Swansea, Aston Villa, Leeds, West Bromwich Albion and German club Borussia Mönchengladbach, were all interested in a loan deal for Hamburg-born Nmecha.

But North End managed to strike a deal with City after speaking with Pep Guardiola and sporting director Txiki Begiristain.

Alex Neil then met with the teenager and persuaded him that Deepdale was the right destination.

The season-long loan was finalised yesterday lunchtime, well before the 5pm transfer deadline.

Nmecha is the seventh signing of the summer, with five permanent deals done and the two City loans.

The Football League’s loan window offers the chance for further business to be done until August 31.

But it would probably need some of the fringe players to move on for PNE to do more incoming deals.

Nmecha will help fill the void left by Sean Maguire who is currently sidelined by a hamstring injury.

While he brings with him limited first-team experience, Nmecha arrives with bags of potential and is rated highly by City.

He has played for England at five age levels, featuring in the Under-21 squad which won the Toulon Tournament in the summer.

While born in Germany, he was raised in England and was picked-up by City’s academy while at primary school.

Last month he went on City’s pre-season tour to the United States and scored in an International Champions Cup game against Bayern Munich.

PNE manager Neil said: “I believe we have signed one of the brightest centre forwards in the country at his age group.

“Manchester City have got really high hopes for him.

“He has spent the last six months training with their first team and we have managed to persuade him that the next stage of his development is to come and play for us.”

Nmecha was training with his new team-mates for the first time this morning, the squad then flying down to Wales this afternoon ready to face Swansea at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

In terms of selection for the Swans clash, Neil will assess the fitness of Tom Clarke.

The skipper got a bang on the head against QPR last week.