With the European January transfer window now almost at an end, on Wednesday afternoon it was being reported that Italian Serie A side, Salernitana, had been paying close attention to Preston North End’s captain, Alan Browne.
Having come through Cork City’s youth setup, 28 year old Browne, moved from the Republic of Ireland to Preston back in the 2014 January transfer window as a free agent, and since then he has more than established himself as a first team regular and earning their skippers armband. To date, he has made a total of 327 starting appearances for the side, with an additional 73 showings from the substitutes bench. Across those games the midfielder has chipped in with 46 goals.
Effectively a one club man, after a decade of service to the club, he made his milestone 400th appearance for them last Saturday, but he now finds himself inside of the final six months of his contract, and there now seems very little sign of the club even attempting to tie him down to a further contract extension.
Sky Italia reporter Gianluca Di Marzio has now claimed that Salernitana have been keeping an eye on him, and that they are now actively working on a deal to try and land him on a permanent basis before Thursday’s transfer deadline slams shut.
If this rumour is true, an educated guess would suggest that talks could well be approaching an advanced stage between both clubs, as at the time of the initial report, there were just over 24 hours left to get a deal done.
Of course, discussions may not be totally centred on striking a deal with Preston this month, as Browne can simply agree a pre contract with the Italian side and make the move at the end of the season.
However, with Salernitana sitting in bottom place in the Serie A with only two wins from their 22 matches so far in the 2023/24 campaign, a tough battling midfielder coming in for the second half of the season would give them a far better chance of avoiding relegation. Six points right now is a step gap, but not an insurmountable one with the right additions, a fresh energy and a little bit of luck.
With Pippo Inzaghi as their manager, having spent his entire career effectively in the English Football League, Browne would likely fancy a new challenge out in Italy, and especially under someone like Inzaghi given the playing career he had.
It is certainly one to watch in the next few hours.