Preston North End sign young midfielder Josh Harrop from Manchester United

Josh Harrop realised his boyhood dream by scoring for Manchester United just a few months ago but he has now signed for Championship team Preston North End on a four-year deal.

Preston North End sign young midfielder Josh Harrop from Manchester United
Josh Harrop scored his first professional goal for Manchester United at the end of this season, but he has found himself a new home at Deepdale. PICTURE: GettyImages, James Baylis - AMA

Preston North End have signed Manchester United midfielder Josh Harrop after the 21-year-old rejected a new deal at Old Trafford to see out his existing contract.

Harrop has signed a four-year deal with Preston and he will join up with his new teammates next week.

The midfielder shot to fame when he scored on his first-team debut in a heavily-rotated United side on the final day of the Premier League season against Crystal Palace.

Before making the jump into the first team, Harrop had been a regular in United's Under-23 side, finishing as the side’s top scorer with 10 goals.

The Lilywhites do have to pay United an undisclosed training compensation as Harrop is leaving at the expiry of his contract under 24 years of age and also because United offered him a new deal.

Young midfielder "delighted" to seal move

Harrop had described his debut goal as "a boyhood dream’"and said he has "left on a high" but recognises he has to move on to get his desired regular first-team football.

Harrop was rated very highly at United, so this decision was in regards of his interests not the club’s, and he is "delighted" to be at Preston and is ready to take the next step.

The youngster isn’t lacking in self belief either, saying he wanted to do what he "knew he was capable of" at Deepdale.

Preston boss Simon Grayson said the club "had to move quickly’" to secure his signature as Harrop was attracting a lot of interest from other clubs.

"The club has shown the love towards me," said Harrop, who will already know some of the Preston squad. Midfielder Ben Pearson came through United in the same group as Harrop, and Callum Robinson played with him for the England Under-20s side.

Pearson and Harrop aren’t the only United academy graduates to join the Lilywhites over the years, with Liam Grimshaw and Marnick Vermijl already at the club. Harrop is the club’s third signing this summer, following on from Cork City striker Sean Maguire and Norwich ‘keeper Declan Rudd.

These three and other potential signings will by vying for starting spots for Preston North End’s opening league fixture which is at home against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday 5th of August.

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