Striker set for new year move to PNE

Motherwell striker Louis Moult
Motherwell striker Louis Moult

Preston are set to see in 2018 by signing Motherwell striker Louis Moult.

The 25-year-old is close to finalising a move to Deepdale, with North End reported to have beaten off a host of clubs in England and Scotland to his signature.

Any deal can only officially be completed and registered when the transfer window opens on January 1.

But it is understood that the transfer is at an advanced stage, with PNE paying a fee for Moult.

They have been tracking the Stoke-born front man for a few months.

North End watched him in the semi-finals and final of the Scottish League Cup.

In the semi-final, Moult got both goals in the 2-0 win over Rangers at Hampden Park.

’Well were beaten 2-0 by Celtic in the final last month. This season he has scored 14 goals in 22 appearances, 
taking, and has netted 50 times for the Steelmen in his two-and-a-half years there.

He found the net against PNE in a pre-season friendly in July 2015.

Rangers and Celtic were both interested in Moult, as were Championship clubs in England.

Preston do not necessarily see Moult as a replacement for Jordan Hugill, who attracted so much attention during the summer window.

They are more than happy to have both strikers pushing for a place.

Moult’s career has been something of a slow burner.

He started his career with home-town club Stoke City.

During his time there, he went on loan to Bradford, Mansfield and Accrington.

In August 2012, he joined Northampton Town before dropping back into 
non-league at Nuneaton.

From there he signed for Wrexham and after scoring 22 goals in 2014/15, Moult moved north of the border to join Motherwell.

With Moult coming out of contract at Motherwell in May, he has been allowed to speak with clubs outside of Scotland since the start of December.

’Well manager Stephen Robinson, a former Preston midfielder, accepts Moult will be on his way at some stage.

Robinson said: “Louis is well within his rights to speak to people.

“We’ve made Louis 
numerous contract offers now and Louis has told me he won’t be at the club after the end of the season.

“We made offers probably above and beyond ourselves to probably make Louis the best paid player at the football club for the last 15 or 20 years.”

Meanwhile, North End’s youth team were beaten 5-0 by Tottenham in the FA Youth Cup yesterday.

The tie was switched to Spurs’ training ground from Stevenage’s Broadhall Way due to the weather.