Championship side Preston North End have reportedly ruled out a loan move for Liverpool and Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher in January.
Kelleher will be allowed to leave the Merseyside club on loan in January to gain more first-team experience but according to the Lancashire Evening Post he will not be going to Preston.
The 20-year-old had been heavily linked to North End over the past few weeks, with the Daily Star outlining that the Championship club had pulled out all the stops in welcoming Liverpool’s loan manager to Deepdale in a bid to secure Kelleher’s services.
Kelleher made his Liverpool first-team debut in their League Cup victory over MK Dons in September before featuring in the next round against Arsenal, saving a penalty in the shootout which handed the Reds victory.
The Irish U21 international is expected to start his third game in a row in the competition when Liverpool take on Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
Preston’s current number one is Declan Rudd who has started all 22 of their Championship games this season and although the report mentions young keepers the Deepdale club have brought in in the past, Kelleher’s lack of first-team experience may count against him.
Liverpool would understandably want assurances that Kelleher will play should he get loaned out, something that many clubs in the Championship could see as a risk.
Kelleher has featured frequently for Stephen Kenny’s Ireland Under-21 side and will be hoping he can break into the senior squad when the former Dundalk boss takes the reins from Mick McCarthy in August of this year.