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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 3 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 5, 2006

Pearson keen on Preston switch

Stephen Pearson's agent Willie McKay has given the clearest indication yet that the Celtic midfielder would consider a move to Preston despite Hoops boss Gordon Strachan apparently blocking any potential transfer.

North End boss Billy Davies, who worked with Pearson at the start of his career at Motherwell, has made his interest in the 23-year-old clear but accepts the move may be governed by the Glasgow giants' injury situation.

However, Strachan who moved to end any speculation by telling Celtic's website: 'To put an end to recent press speculation, Stephen Pearson is going nowhere. Stephen is part of the current first team and I hope he will play a big part in the remainder of the season.'

The ideal scenario for Pearson would be regular football at Parkhead but McKay claims his player would be willing to move to Deepdale if regular football does not materialise, although a long-term deal would depend on whether Preston are playing in the Premiership next season.

Ironically, after two years on the fringes of the Celtic squad, the door could finally be open for Pearson in Glasgow with Stilian Petrov injured and Chris Sutton linked with a move south.

But McKay told PA Sport: 'Billy Davies is one of the best young managers in the country and he gave Stephen his first chance at Motherwell.

'He knows what Stephen Pearson can do and he's been unlucky with injuries. Stephen would be there (at Preston) for six months and then he'll be playing in the Premier League; that's what it boils down to.

'Billy knows that and he's desperate to get him. He will be in the Premiership in six months and the way they are playing, it will be with Preston.

'Stephen's at Celtic which is a massive club. He wants to play. It's up to Gordon Strachan at Celtic and what he wants to do.

'If Stephen's playing for Celtic, he's a Celtic fan, he's happy. If he doesn't play I think he'd like to go to Preston and play.

'I've spoken to several people who know Preston very well and people like David Moyes say Preston would be a great move for him.'