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Preston North End

Preston North End interested in 17-year-old non-league starlet

The Lancashire Evening Post confirms that Sky Bet Championship outfit Preston North End are keen on signing Hartlepool United striker Connor Simpson. The 17-year-old has broken onto the first team scene at Victoria Park since making his debut towards the end of last season, and has appeared seven times this season as well.

Whilst there were some reports that a deal was closed to being concluded, that is not believed to be the case. Preston, managed by former Norwich City boss Alex Neil, first expressed an interest in Simpson last month, submitting an enquiry to Hartlepool, managed by Craig Harrison, over what price they’d be prepared to sell the player. The Vanarama National League team haven’t responded to this as of yet.

Although it can still be counted on two hands the amount of times he has appeared for Hartlepool, he is very much seen as a player with a possibly big future in the game. At the age of 17, he has made rapid progress and has been learning his trade briefly in League Two last season, and now in the top flight of non-league football in this.

In his first appearance of the season in a home victory over Maidstone, Simpson scored his first and only goal in the club. The highlights of that game can be viewed in the video below, with Simpson netting Hartlepool’s third in the 68th minute to put his side 3-0 ahead at the time. Now, time will tell if the player will remain a Hartlepool player beyond the end of the transfer window. Even if Preston did purchase the player, a possibility could be that he is loaned back out to Hartlepool for the remainder of the campaign. Hartlepool sit 17th in the league standings.

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