Sky Bet Championship side Preston North End completed a deal which allows Declan Rudd to return to Deepdale, and the former Norwich ‘keeper is ready to fight to become the first choice, according to the Lancashire Evening Post.

Three years ago Declan Rudd was a young loanee with the Lilywhites, but fast-forward those three years and he is now signing a permanent deal at Deepdale.

Rudd will complete a permanent switch from Norwich City to PNE next week and will be simultaneously be fighting against current shot-stopper Chris Maxwell to hold the position as first-choice.

The England youth star spent 18 months on loan with the Lilywhites in 2013 and 2014. After making his debut in Graham Westley’s last game in charge at Yeovil, Rudd developed and returned a season later as he started all 46 games in the League – adding nine more to his tally in the play-offs, FA Cup and League Cup.

The Lancashire side continued to watch the talented goalkeeper despite his return to Carrow Road and recent developments in Norfolk mean that he can return to Deepdale.

Last season Rudd was on loan at Charlton and, after making numerous impressive performances at The Valley, Rudd expected to be first-choice goalkeeper for the Canaries upon his return. But the Norfolk side signed Angus Gunn on loan from Manchester City, thus hampering those targets.

Should Rudd make the move to Deepdale, he will be competing with Maxwell to become first choice shot-stopper – competition that is healthy for the Lancashire side.

PNE boss Simon Grayson said: “A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to get people in.

“Deals can take time and the whole market has been a bit quiet.

“We have got Sean Maguire done and we are not far away with a few more. “As you get closer to the start of pre-season training, you generally see the transfer market get busier.

“Managers tend to like to get a lot of the business done before pre-season so that you have time to get new players fully involved.

“You aren’t always going to get everyone you want before training starts because things can happen further down the line.

“But having most of the squad together is good.”

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