Preston North End distance themselves from Hamilton Academical defender transfer link

Peter Ridsdale says transfer speculation should be the last thing on the minds of football clubs during the shutdown.

Hamilton Academical left-back Scott McMann has been linked with Preston North End
Hamilton Academical left-back Scott McMann has been linked with Preston North End

Preston North End were linked in the Scottish media with Hamilton Academical left-back Scott McMann.

The 23-year-old was given his first-team debut by Alex Neil at Hamilton seven years ago and in the last few seasons has established himself as a regular in the Accies side.

Ridsdale, advisor to PNE owner Trevor Hemmings, told the Lancashire Post: “I see we were linked with a player in the media but it is not us doing the linking.

“We are not in a position to be enquiring about players at this stage.

“Our first objective is to make sure we look after the players who are contracted to us.”

Like any club, North End scout players on an ongoing basis but that has obviously stopped at the moment.

Playing this season to a finish and finding a way to do that is the focus.

Only after it is completed will the next transfer window start and it is open to debate what the parameters of that will be. There has been talk of having a longer window, with it open through to January.

The report linking PNE with McMann claimed Stoke and Wigan were also in the running.

Left-back is a position North End could well look at when the time is right. Andrew Hughes has been beset by injury this season, with Joe Rafferty moving over from the right to cover him.

Rafferty has made 24 starts, the majority of them at left-back, emphasising how much he has been needed.

He has caught the eye on that side of the pitch despite being right-footed.

PNE left-back Josh Earl is out on loan at Ipswich, having had a similar spell at Bolton in the first half of the season.

Earl could return to fight for a place, although did operate as a centre-half during his time at Bolton.