Portsmouth and Preston in race to sign Morecambe star Cole Stockton

By Wayne Veysey

11th Apr, 2022 | 10:55am

Sources: Portsmouth and Preston North End in race to sign Morecambe star Cole Stockton

Portsmouth are among the clubs racing to sign prolific Morecambe striker Cole Stockton, Football Insider understands.

Stockton, 28, has been a standout performer in League One this season with 22 league goals among 25 strikes in all competitions.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Preston, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Rotherham and Wycombe Wanderers are all weighing up moves for the third tier’s joint top scorer.

He has a contract at Morecambe that runs until the summer of 2023.

Stockton has started all but two of the Shrimps’ 42 league games this term as they battle to avoid an instant return to League Two.

The forward has spent most of his senior career in the fourth tier but has stepped up to League One with aplomb as he enters his prime years.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Stockton started his career with Tranmere Rovers but failed to hold down a starting berth at the club.

He had short loan spells in the lower leagues before earning a permanent transfer to Hearts.

Moves to Carlisle and Wrexham followed, as well as a return to Tranmere – all before Stockton found his feet at Morecambe in 2019.

The Huyton-born striker notched 15 goals and five assists last season as Morecambe earned promotion via the League Two playoffs.

Stockton has earned the third tier’s Player of the Month award twice this term as a reward for his fabulous form in front of goal.

Portsmouth are looking to bolster their striking options for a promotion push next season as they look set to fall well short of a League One play-off berth.

Preston, who sit 13th in the Championship, will be desperate to replace the goal vacuum left by loan star Cameron Archer when he returns to parent club Aston Villa this summer.

In other news, Man United ready to trigger release clause and announce deal next week.