EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Defender Josh Earl has agreed a new deal at Preston North End despite interest from Leeds United and Premier League big guns, Football Insider sources understand.

The likes of Liverpool, Newcastle and Championship leaders Leeds are all admirers of Earl, but Preston have moved to secure the defender’s future.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that full-back Earl, 18, has agreed the terms of a three-year contract and will imminently put pen to paper.

Scouts from Liverpool, Newcastle, Brighton, Bournemouth and Leeds have all been tracking Earl as they look to lure the player away from Preston.

However, the second-tier club were desperate to keep hold of Earl and have moved to fend off the growing interest in the player by tying him down to fresh terms.

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Earl is highly-regarded at Preston having progressed through the ranks at Deepdale.

The full-back has broken into the first-team this season under Alex Neil and made his debut in the 1-0 win over Reading last month.

Earl was handed his chance in the starting XI after an injury to Gregg Cunningham and the teenager has started Preston’s last four games and the side are unbeaten in those four games.

The teenager’s progress at Preston has unsurprisingly not gone unnoticed elsewhere.

In other Leeds United transfer news, Alvin Martin has made an astonishing claim about Christiansen’s team that fans will love.

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