Freddie Woodman emerges as ‘major Rangers target’ but Preston boss issues ‘£20million’ transfer warning
The 25-year-old former England youth international has been linked with a summer move to Ibrox.
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Rangers have been linked with a £3.5million swoop for Preston North End goalkeeper Freddie Woodman this summer - but Deepdale boss Ryan Lowe has warned Michael Beale it will prove costly to land him.
Woodman, who has previously enjoyed two loan spells in Scotland having firstly joined Kilmarnock under Lee Clark and then Aberdeen under Derek McInnes, has reportedly been identified as a player on the Ibrox club’s ‘radar’.
The Scottish Sun claim Rangers have sent scouts to cast their eye over the 25-year-old stopper a number of times already this season including Tuesday night’s goalless draw against Coventry City.
Woodman, who has 14 clean sheets in total to his name this season to date, spent eight years at boyhood club Newcastle United before joining Preston on a permanent deal last summer after a couple of loans at Swansea City and quickly established himself as the club’s No.1.
Rangers are in the market for a new keeper with 41-year-old veteran Allan McGregor expected to leave at the end of the season when his contract expires and understudy Jon McLaughlin has failed to win over Light Blues supporters with a number of unconvincing displays.
Woodman - one of Preston’s highest wage earners - fits the bill and the Championship side are understood to be willing to cash in on him this summer, making it clear to interested parties that they will listen to offers.
Leicester City and Leeds Unted are among other clubs credited with an interest and despite having two years left on his current deal, Lilywhites boss Lowe reckons it’s a positive thing that a number of top sides are displaying a strong interest in one of his players.
However, he warned in a press conference on Friday they won’t let him leave on the cheap. Lowe said: “Good, they can give us £20m for him if they want. I don’t know what he’s worth but we know he’s a top, top keeper.
“If he continues to get those clean sheets then that’s what will happen, there will be talks of clubs and interest in him. Especially those types of clubs. He’s an England youth international and there’s not many of those types of good ‘keepers around aside from the ones that are already there.
“We knew when we were signing Fred that he was a good goalkeeper and he just needs to continue that good form. Everyon has dips and Fred had a dip a few weeks ago and he wasn’t quite happy with the performance but now he’s back to collecting clean shees.
“If he can get another six clean sheets out of the next 12 games then that’s 20 he’ll have had. We’ll help him get that, the defenders in front of him will certainly help him. You’d like all of your players linked, some people in the media get the links out there for whatever it is they want to do.
“He’s definitely going to get recognised if he’s one of the best in the division for clean sheets. If you have a 20-goal marksman they’d be linked with plenty of clubs as well. It’s definitely a good thing for the football club when players are getting noticed for individual performances and team performances. It is what it is, Im sure he’ll be linked with many other clubs and other players will as well.”
As a teenager, Woodman was part of the England Under-17 side that won the World Cup in 2017.
Meanwhile, forgotten Rangers winger Rabbi Matondo has been spotted working hard in the gym as he prepares for a return to action following a two-month injury absence.
The 22-year-old, who joined from Bundesliga side Schalke for £3million on a four-year deal last summer, has struggled to hold down a regular starting place in Michael Beale’s side and has already been labelled as a flop signing by some fans.
Currently sidelined with an unspecified problem, Matondo was pictured working out alongside Cardiff-based transformation an fitness coach DrJ, after he posted about the Light Blues player on his Instagram account. Showcasing a number of images of the Wales international, the post is captioned: “Mid-season work with the boy @rabbimatondo.”