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Preston North End seal loan deal for Manchester City prospect Brandon Barker after injury to Billy Bodin

Brandon Barker in action for Hibs during his loan spell last season
Brandon Barker in action for Hibs during his loan spell last season

Preston did some late night business to complete a loan swoop for Manchester City winger Brandon Barker.

The 21-year-old has joined PNE for a season’s stay and was meeting his new team-mates at Springfields this morning.

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He will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s clash with Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

North End announced Barker’s arrival just before 10pm last night having spent much of yesterday doing the deal with City.

Barker spoke with Alex Neil before the PNE manager headed to Teesside to watch Middlesbrough’s victory over Sheffield United.

Brandon Barker

Brandon Barker

According to Barker, Neil was a good salesman when persuading him to move to Deepdale.

“I spoke to the manager and he did a good job of selling the club to me,” said Barker who has been capped at three age groups by England.

“He is a manager who I think I can improve under, he has a young squad with some older faces and I can’t wait to get going.”

Manchester-born Barker is no stranger to going out on loan, the move to PNE being the fourth of his short career.

He played four games for Rotherham United in the Championship in November and December 2015.

When that loan was over, Barker played his only game for City to date as a substitute in an FA Cup game at Chelsea.

He spent 2016/17 with NAC Breda in Holland, playing 22 games and scoring two goals.

Last season, Barker went on loan to Hibernian and made 30 appearances, 18 of those being starts.

PNE made their move for him after losing Billy Bodin to a knee ligament injury for six months.

Barker is right-footed, quick and direct.

He will compete with Tom Barkhuizen, Callum Robinson and Daryl Horgan for a role on either flank.

Barker said: “I’m delighted to get the deal done, as soon as it came up I was buzzing.

“I have had a couple of loan spells and I am looking to build on that.

“Last year in Scotland I did okay and hopefully this year is the same.

“I hope I can show what I do in the games.

“Hopefully I can help the team as much as I can, work hard and try and give the fans what they want.”

Barker is the sixth signing made by North End during the summer and they want to do more business.

The transfer window with regards to permanent deals closes tomorrow.

But Football League clubs can continue to take players on loan until August 31.

Priority now is a striker to bolster the forward line in the absence of Sean Maguire who is out for two months.