Preston North End won't be making a loan move for Liverpool goalkeeper
Preston North End’s business in the January transfer window will not include a loan swoop for Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.
The 21-year-old has been linked in the media with a switch to Deepdale for the second half of the season.
But it is understood that the Irishman is not under consideration by North End in any bid to bolster the goalkeeping department.
Kelleher has been on Liverpool’s books since 2015, signed from Ringmahon Rangers – the same club where Preston midfielders Alan Browne and Adam O’Reilly started out.
He made his first-team debut in October, playing in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over MK Dons in the League Cup.
Cork-born Kelleher then featured in their thrilling 5-5 draw with Arsenal in the next round, with him saving a penalty in the shootout which the Reds won 5-4.
He is expected to feature in Tuesday night’s quarter-final tie at Aston Villa, with senior keepers Alisson, Adrian and Andrew Lonergan in Qatar for the World Club Championship.
Although clearly having a bright future, Kelleher only has the two senior games under his belt and to plunge him straight into the Championship would be seen as a risk.
Liverpool would want assurances that if he was loaned out, Kelleher would get a regular run of matches.
While North End have history for taking keepers on loan – Jordan Pickford, Sam Johnstone and Anders Lindegaard are three in recent years – they had experience in their gloves.
Johnstone had played 50 games in four loan spells before landing at PNE in January 2015.
Preston was a sixth loan club for Pickford when he joined in August 2015.
Declan Rudd has been North End’s first-choice keeper this season and the majority of last.
Rudd has started all 22 of PNE’s Championship games this campaign.
They have Connor Ripley, Mathew Hudson and Michael Crowe as cover.
Ripley played in the three League Cup games earlier in the season but his only two appearances in the league since January’s arrival from Middlesbrough were at the end of last season.
Hudson has been on the bench of late rather than Ripley as a matchday squad has to include a player who has come through the academy.
With Ben Davies out of action, Hudson ticks that box.