Preston North End keen to keep hold of full-back amid reported interest from Sunderland

Sunderland have been linked with an interest in Preston North End full-back Joe Rafferty.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 11:38 am

Sun journalist Alan Nixon posted on Twitter that the Black Cats were interested in a loan deal for Rafferty.

However, the word from Deepdale is that Rafferty is a player they would be reluctant to lose.

He can cover both full-back/wing-back positions and North End like his versatility.

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Preston North End full-back Joe Rafferty

A loan would not seem to appeal either for a player who is in the last year of his contract - if Sunderland or other clubs really wanted him, PNE would look for a fee.

Rafferty was one of seven players who came on as 61st minute substitutes in Saturday's 1-0 win against Celtic, with him operating at left wing-back.

Last Tuesday in the 1-1 draw at St Johnstone, the 27-year-old played 79 minutes - starting on the left before moving over to the left.

One of North End's other right-back options, Matt Olosunde, missed the Celtic game having got a painful kick on the Achilles tendon at St Johnstone.

Sepp van den Berg has played as a centre-back in the friendlies so far, while Josh Earl has also operated in the middle rather than at left-back.

Rafferty joined PNE from Rochdale in January 2019 and has made 64 appearances in league and cup.

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