Preston saw off Premier League interest in order to land Exeter City centre-half Jordan Storey.
The 20-year-old joined PNE yesterday, moving for an undisclosed fee – one which the Grecians described as a ‘substantial’ one.
Fulham, newly promoted to the top flight, had shown an interest in the centre-back.
But North End moved quickly to secure Storey’s services, with him travelling up from Devon to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms.
Storey said: “This is a new challenge for me and I can’t wait to get started at a big club.
“The last couple of months have been great for me.
“We managed to get to the play-off final at Exeter City.
“It didn’t manage to work out for us, but on a personal note – from where I have come from – it has been great for me. I now want to learn as much as I can.
“The manager is going to mould me and build me into the best player that I can be, hopefully.
“It was nice to speak to him and to get to know him and I am looking forward to getting started.
“Deepdale is a cracking stadium and it is different to what I have been playing in regularly.
“I can’t wait to get started and show what I am about.”
Yeovil-born Storey came through Exeter’s youth system but only made his first-team debut last October.
He broke into their side regularly in February and helped them reach the League Two play-off final where they lost to Coventry at Wembley. ”
In total, Storey made 18 appearances last season in league and cup, scoring twice.
His arrival does follow the buying pattern that North End have adopted in recent seasons. They have tended to go for younger players who want to make their way in the game, giving them with the chance to play at Championship level.
North End have shopped both in the Premier League for youngsters on the first-team fringes and in the lower divisions – as they have done here in League Two with Storey.
He adds competition for the centre-half positions.
Paul Huntington and Ben Davies was the pairing which was preferred by Alex Neil for the majority of last season, with Tom Clarke and Tommy Spurr also playing there.
North End may need to seek further defensive reinforcements however with Greg Cunningham on the verge of joining Premier League new boys Cardiff.