Report: Preston not likely to make move for Celtic-linked Ali McCann

By David Walton

August 24, 2021

English Championship club Preston North End are unlikely to move for Celtic-linked St Johnstone midfielder Ali McCann, according to LancsLive.

The Sun on Sunday [print edition, 22/08, page 59] reported that Preston were keen on the Northern Ireland international. This came after a summer of speculation surrounding Celtic’s own potential interest.

The Hoops had the player watched last season [The Courier]. However, after a new regime came in spearheaded by manager Ange Postecoglou, no move for McCann has transpired so far.

But their potential main rivals for any deal, Preston, also likely won’t be making a move according to Lans Live. Their manager, Frankie McAvoy, said the following when questioned on a potential move:

“I don’t want to speculate about others at other clubs. I think I was asked the question ‘who would I sign if I had loads of money?’, I mentioned a player and then suddenly there were links with him.

“But if I didn’t answer that I’d have been told I was a bottle merchant likely – I just gave an honest answer and it was no disrespect to the club that player is now with. So yeah, I wouldn’t like to speculate on that.”

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Ange’s late Celtic transfer intentions are extremely encouraging

Ange’s late Celtic transfer intentions are extremely encouraging
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Preston appear to cool reported interest on Celtic-linked Ali McCann

If Celtic were to sign McCann, they would undoubtedly need to craft up a seven-figure fee. Previous reports have stated the player could cost around £3m [Sun on Sunday, print edition, 22/08, page 59].

That would open up a debate on whether Celtic actually need the Northern Irishman. Especially when we have more concerning shortages at left-back, centre-back, and up top.

Well, it would appear that Postecoglou may indeed be interested. The Daily Record reported over the weekend that the Celtic boss was in the market for a versatile midfielder. McCann has shone in the Europa League and Europa Conference League qualifiers in addition to his starring displays last season. He would certainly fit the bill.

Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images

For the player himself, first-team football is key. You could understand any concerns McCann may have about the dilution of senior game-time in Glasgow. But he has all of the attributes to be a key figure under Postecoglou.

As it stands, there’s no sign Celtic are closing in on this one. Should St Johnstone qualify for the UECL, it would remove any pressure they had on selling players too. But with Preston seemingly dropping out, this one is there for Celtic if we want it badly enough.

In other news, Leo Hjelde to leave Celtic for Leeds United before August 31st deadline