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Preston sign Carlisle target Joe Garner

Joe Garner has today snubbed Carlisle United to join rivals Preston on an 18-month deal.

Joe Garner photo
Joe Garner scores

The Cumbrians have missed out to the Lancashire club in the chase for Garner, who has completed a permanent move from Watford.

It is understood Garner – a boyhood North End fan – agreed a settlement on the final months of his Hornets contract and then tied up his move to Deepdale.

The 24-year-old’s decision to join Graham Westley’s side will come as a blow to United manager Greg Abbott, who had made little secret of his interest in the frontman.

In a third spell with the Blues, Garner hit eight goals in 18 games in a 93-day loan this season.

Abbott then went public with his wish to bring him back for a further half-season loan or a permanent move in this month’s transfer window.

He will now join the Preston squad for their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game on Thursday night at Coventry – Carlisle’s next opponents in League One.

A reunion with the Blues will follow when Preston visit Brunton Park on April 13.

Garner’s boyhood links with the Lilywhites – his family are all Preston fans – helped Westley pip Abbott to the player.

Preston’s extra financial muscle – Garner will command a higher wage there than what Carlisle could offer – has also helped their cause.

One of Garner’s goals for Carlisle this season came in the 1-1 draw at Deepdale on November 6, and manager Westley had openly praised the striker on the eve of that game.

He had reportedly been a Preston target last summer but he opted for an emotional return to Brunton Park in September after falling out of favour at Vicarage Road.

He remains Carlisle’s record signing at £140,000 after his move from Blackburn in 2007, later leaving to Forest in a £1.14m deal.

Abbott is now understood to be turning his attention to defensive targets following the hamstring injury suffered by Mike Edwards.

The length of the centre-half’s lay-off is due to be determined after a scan.

  • Reaction to Garner's move in tomorrow's News & Star
Have your say

Let's draw a line under Joe Garner and push the board to give Greg the cash from Paddy Madden to bring in a couple of solid defenders.
Lets hope Greg doesn't waste weeks trying to find something better than we've already got.
Shouldn't be too difficult.
Every game we lose, is a game closer to relegation. and STOP DITHERING is the message to board and manager alike..

Posted by dave on 9 January 2013 at 21:00

I watch Bradford Villa last night, i can see why Greg didn't offer Naiki Wells a deal all he has done is score 14 goals this season and terrify the villa and Arsenal defences! Another great Greg Abbott decision!

Posted by Nige on 9 January 2013 at 14:53

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