Breaking: Race for midfielder hots up as Preston North End join host of sides in battle with Portsmouth for signature
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The News understands the Championship outfit are among a swathe of sides now after the £200,000-rated Accrington midfielder.
Pompey remain keen on the former Pr iory School student, wi th boss John Mousinho stating this week he is still a player under consideration this summer.
They will have to now fend off interest from Deepdale, however, with Preston now among a number of Championship and League One clubs on his trail.
Leigh looks certain to depart the Crown Ground this summer, with the 23-year-old one of the club’s prized assets after bagging 12 goals last term.
As a selling club Accrington have a wealth of experience in monetising their assets, and they look content to sit tight and let interested parties potentially push up how much they bring in from the former Blues academy talent’s exit.
The path to any deal for Leigh appears to have become more obstructed for Pompey, but they will hope his association with the city is a weapon in their arsenal when it comes to getting any deal over the line.
Pompey have landed a whopping six players since the transfer window opened last Wednesday, with Will Norris, Conor Shaughnessy, Christian Saydee, Terry Devlin, Anthony Scully and Ben Stevenson all through the door.
But, in particular, there are key attacking additions required ahead of Mousinho’s first full campaign at the helm - particularly at the front end of midfield.
Leigh fits the mould exactly in terms of the versatile option going forward Pompey are looking to bring in.
A winger is also desired, with Gavin Whyte still firmly on the Blues’ radar as he becomes a free agent this summer after leaving Cardiff.