Preston North End transfer news: Manager 'flattered' by Deepdale links, 'No way' Neil will land top job

Preston North End’s hunt for a new manager continues, with many bookies suggesting that Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth is the clear favourite to take over in the dugout at Deepdale.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 9:00 am
Latest Championship rumours.

The 47-year-old is currently priced at 2/1 by SkyBet, with his nearest rival – Manchester United academy coach Nicky Butt – priced at 5/2.

Ainsworth himself has now spoken out on the speculation, and his comments are coy to say the least.

Speaking on Sky Sports News, he said: "[Wycombe and Preston are] Two fantastic football clubs, that is all I can say.

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Brentford are keen on signing Manchester City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis. The player is currently on loan at Blackburn Rovers, with Leeds United and Brighton also interested. (Manchester Evening News) (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

"I'm flattered as always to be linked with these jobs. I started my career at Preston which holds a big piece of my heart.

"As I have always said, it would take something super special for me to vacate Wycombe where we have built that culture and what we have done so far.

"So there will be no comment from me."

Wycombe have endured a tough campaign in their first ever season in the Championship, and are currently rooted to the foot of the table having won six games out of 38.

Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City are chasing Blackpool goal sensation Jerry Yates this summer. (Football Insider) (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Ainsworth himself remains a huge favourite at the club, however, and has overseen around 450 games in the dugout for Wanderers.

Elsewhere, pundit Gabby Agbonlahor has poured cold water on the prospect of Alex Neil taking over as Celtic manager.

The 39-year-old was given the boot by North End recently, and the Hoops are still on the lookout for their next permanent boss after parting company with Neil Lennon.

But speaking to Football Insider, the ex-Aston Villa man quashed any prospects of a stunning move to Parkhead.

Norwich City goalkeeper Archie Mair has agreed a new long-term contract with the club. (Football Insider) (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

He said: “I don’t think that Celtic are going to make a massive decision like this and give it to someone who has just been sacked by a Championship club.

“I just can’t see it, to be honest.

“They’ll be looking at someone who has had a better career than Neil, to be honest.

“I don’t think they’ll be looking at him – no way.”

There is “no way” Celtic will appoint Alex Neil as their next manager after he was sacked by Preston North End over the weekend, according to Gabby Agbonlahor. (Football Insider) (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Celtic legend Chris Sutton recently touted Neil for the role during an interview with the Daily Record, while the Daily Mail suggest that the Hoops have been interested in the manager since as far back as 2019.

We’ve gathered the rest of today’s Championship speculation below:

Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace are closely monitoring in-form Sunderland loanee Dion Sanderson. The defender's parent club is Wolves. (Football Insider) (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Sheffield United are interested in signing Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher this summer. (Football League World) (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth has admitted that he is flattered by speculation linking him with Preston North End's vacant managerial job. (Lancashire Evening Post) (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
According to journalist Envo Olivera, four Premier League sides - including West Ham and Crystal Palace - are tracking Watford defender Francisco Sierralta. (Last Word on Sport) (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Burnley are tracking Hull City's former Barnsley forward Mallik Wilks ahead of a potential swoop from the Premier League side. (Football League World) (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)