Declan Rudd set to leave Norwich City after agreeing Preston move
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Declan Rudd will complete a move to Preston on July 1 after cutting his ties with boyhood club Norwich City for an undisclosed fee.
Rudd has agreed a three-year contract to return to Deepdale, where he enjoyed a superb season-long loan stint in 2014 that saw him help the Lilywhites reach the League One play-offs.
City did exercise a one-year option in the Diss-bred keeper’s existing Norwich contract at the end of last season, but the move for Manchester City starlet Angus Gunn on a season-long loan underlined Rudd was not part of Daniel Farke’s long term plans.
Rudd spent last season on-loan at Charlton but the chance to link up with Simon Grayson’s squad was too good to turn down.
“Coming back here is something that has always been in my mind,” the 26-year-old told Preston’s official site. “When I was on loan here a few years ago it felt like home to me and everyone made me feel welcome and wanted. The last three or four years I’ve been here, there and everywhere and I’m happy to finally come back and get things underway.
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“It’ll be really easy for me to make the transition from Norwich and I can’t wait for the season to get underway. It’s nice to have some familiar faces but also hopefully make some new friends. I’ve heard the group in the dressing room is a really good group of lads and really close knit - you could tell that by the way they played last season. I’ve kept a close eye on all the results since I haven’t been here and you can tell by how they did last year how close they are. It’ll be good to get in when we get back for pre-season and get to know everyone.”
Grayson wants Rudd to provide stiff competition for Chris Maxwell.
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“We are delighted to have signed Declan. We have worked with him before and we now have really good competition for the goalkeeping spot – we have two outstanding senior goalkeepers to choose from,” he said. “Chris had a fantastic year, last year, and we wanted to bring in someone who would provide quality competition for the number one spot.
“It should be an easy process for him to settle in; he knows how we all work and it could be as if he has not been away. We are looking forward to working with him and looking forward to challenge he will provide.
“Pre-season is all about competition for places, in all areas of the pitch and the players who perform best during this time will earn the shirts for the first game of the season.”
The Canaries confirmed Rudd’s pending departure on Tuesday evening.
They said: “Declan Rudd is set to leave Norwich City to join Preston North End for an undisclosed fee on July 1. Rudd, 26, came through the City academy and made his debut against Gillingham in 2009 in City’s League One-winning season. He has made 34 first-team appearances for the Canaries, including 11 starts in City’s 2015/16 Premier League campaign. Rudd made 60 league appearances for Preston North End in two loan spells in 2012/13 and 2013/14. Everyone at Norwich City would like to thank Declan for his efforts while with the club and wish him the very best for the future.”