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Preston Eyeing Celina
Thursday, 12th May 2022 21:50

TWTD understands Championship side Preston North End are keen on signing Town loanee Bersant Celina ahead of 2022/23.

Celina, 25, recently completed his second loan spell at Portman Road, from French side Dijon, making 24 starts and 11 sub appearances, scoring six times, including the Town Goal of the Season against Crewe.

We understand Preston, who finished 13th in the Championship during 2021/22, are interested in taking the Kosovo international to Deepdale over the summer while it seems likely other clubs may join the chase during the close season.

Speaking about Celina in March, Town manager Kieran McKenna said: “He’s certainly a player I really like. I think his qualities fit really well into the football team and as we develop the team I think he can be more important for us going forward.

“Obviously there’s the football side of it and then there’s also the business side of it, and both things have to match up, and the wishes of the players and the wishes of the club on both sides have to match up.

“There are probably a few discussions to be had over the summer and that’s something that other people at the club will handle apart from me, but Bersant’s a player that I really like, that I enjoy having as part of the team and I could certainly see as part of the future of the club.”

Celina, who previously spent 2017/18 on loan at Town from Manchester City, said in the same month that he’d be interested in a return to Portman Road if he was offered the chance, even if the Blues were still in League One.

“I just want this club to get promoted and I’ll come here. Hopefully, that’s my goal. I want to come back to England to play my football and especially here at Ipswich,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean we have to win promotion for that to happen but it’s obviously what we want. If it doesn’t happen this season, with the manager we have now I would expect it to happen next season.

“I have played a lot of games for this club and there is a strong connection between us. I really feel at home here and I’m enjoying it. I’m happy, which is always important, and we are doing our very best to bring success to the club.”

Norway-raised Celina, who is currently on holiday in Spain with Town team-mate Wes Burns, still has another two years left on his contract at Dijon, who are 11th in France’s Ligue 2 with one game to play. Celina seems certain to leave on either a permanent basis or another loan this summer.

Photo: Matchday Images

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USA added 22:02 - May 12
Personally I feel he’s been ineffective too often. Good luck to him if he goes elsewhere. I shan’t lose any sleep though.

OwainG1992 added 22:37 - May 12
Would love to have him here next season.
If we are going head to head with Preston I back us to get the player.
If we were in the championship under Evans I wouldn't be saying that.
Crazy how times change.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 22:39 - May 12
Couldn't disagree more. Class act . Should be a top priority. The sort of player we need to sign this summer . One who can get us up and one who can then play in the Championship too.

Suffolkboy added 22:58 - May 12
Can show occasional brilliance but lacks consistency and still needs to mature his approach to each game and prove he both can and will use his skills to deliver with accuracy and in a timely manner .
There’s little doubt KM sees the potential and would like to meet the challenge of improving this player as part of an ITFC squad. ; but I do not think there’ll be any sleep lost should he go elsewhere .

Gforce added 23:04 - May 12
Too inconsistent for me,he tends to have one good game in four ,is that what we really need if we want to achieve a top two finish.
Possibly a decent squad/impact player, but first choice every week I'm not so sure.

GatesofDelirium added 23:11 - May 12
Although Burns and Donacien had more consistent seasons, on his day Celina is our best player. Weight of pass, vision and execution are sublime at times. Of all our loanees this season Celina is the one we should try to sign again. He would be a useful addition if we get promoted too.

ArnieM added 23:16 - May 12
Really not sure . He’s a very expensive player at this level and he’s doesn’t rip it up every game for that expense does he. This is the problem with technically gifted players - you have the on their game probably about 10% of the game , sometimes not at all. Can we afford this type of player in a small squad based on a promise of one sublime piece of magic every now and then ? It reminds me of the Andre Dozzell debate….

Fat_Boy_Tim added 23:27 - May 12
He wasn't inconsistent for no reason this season. He had no pre-season then a serious heart condition. That left him with no match fitness and Paul Cook regularly dropping him in knee-jerk reactions. At the end of the season (Last 15 games) he was consistently improving and, in my humble opinion, was our best player over the last 10 games. If we can afford him it's an absolute no-brainer.

cressi added 23:44 - May 12
Fat boy Tim
Not sure I completely agree at Rotherham was absolutely awful
We know he can be our best player but has to get tough when the tough get going. Anyway who wants to live in Preston sh**e hole really

HighgateBlue added 23:47 - May 12
Would be great to get him, but we have to appreciate that we're 11th in the 3rd division. That's a pretty pathetic picture to paint to any potential new recruit...

hyperbrit added 00:50 - May 13
..above all a number 10 has to be consistent over the long hall and he just wasn't. Two number 10's was tried to take some pressure off him and that didn't work either.

brassy added 02:33 - May 13
what will be will becoybs

peaky69 added 03:49 - May 13
cressi, was anyone not absolutely awful at Rotherham?
I agree with Fat Boy Tim. No brainer if the sums add up.

Bazza8564 added 05:16 - May 13
Great player, his brain is miles ahead of others in this league, but as the guys say, the sims have to add up. get him back, he wants to be here

Cakeman added 06:10 - May 13
Would like to see us sign him. He is a match winner who can turn a game with a split second of brilliance. Not many of those about in league One.

Saxonblue74 added 07:00 - May 13
A player who joined us on loan after a possible career ending condition and some are questioning consistency?? Give the guy a contract, regular starts, a proper pre season and more time with the new guvnor and you'll get a lot out of him. Get him signed up and he'll serve us well next season and beyond

BossMan added 07:12 - May 13
If we do bring him back I hope we can get him producing something close to his first spell with us as under PC and McK he was a shadow of that.

RegencyBlue added 07:41 - May 13
Given a proper preseason and a stable team around him he can still work for us.

As others have said though the sums need to add up. No point in throwing money at a deal that could be used more effectively elsewhere.

Terrystowel added 07:44 - May 13
He's 25 and a French 2nd tier club don't want him. Go figure!

LegendofthePhoenix added 07:57 - May 13
Big question for Bersant is, does he love Town enough to lower his wage demands for a year to stay at Town. We fans love him, but we know that he isn't at the top of his game in every match, and we can't really afford to spend wages for someone who is brilliant in one match and then has a couple of average matches, when we could get 2 other quality players for the same. I hope we can find the right compromise as would love to have him here as part of the league 1 winning squad.

BlueandTruesince82 added 08:02 - May 13
Game winner, game changer sig him up

OliveR16 added 08:24 - May 13
He's a good player but not worth the cost. That's why Dijon loan him out. A Championship team can afford the luxury. We need to invest big on the left and with strikers.

tractorboybig added 08:32 - May 13
no loss, move on

SouperJim added 08:55 - May 13
Only MK Dons had (marginally) better posession and pass completion stats than us this season. There's a reason for that, Santi is a big part of it. 6 goals and 6 assists is not to be sniffed at and aside from that, the detailed stats show he is one of the best midfielders in this division. Total no brainer, if we can sign him we must. Anyone who thinks otherwise I would politely suggest can't see beyond the end of their nose.

norfsufblue added 09:21 - May 13
Let's be under no illusion here... he's is absolutely huge signing at this level and I would like it to happen. He won't be signed unless KM thinks he can get much more out of him than he produced this year.... thats where the rest of the construction of the team comes in to make the best use of him we are going to need some very intelligent strikers ahead and around him. I hope KM is successful in achieving that

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