Carlisle United have bolstered their promotion-chasing squad with the signing of teenage Preston striker Connor Simpson on a half-season loan.

The tall frontman, 18, linked up with the Blues today and is set to be in their squad for Saturday's trip to Northampton.

Simpson has made one senior appearance for his parent club, having joined Preston from Hartlepool last January.

The 6ft 5in player scored against the Blues in an FA Youth Cup tie for the north east club last season, and has also had loan spells in non-league with Lancaster City and Hyde United, impressing under ex-United defender Darren Kelly at the latter.

He adds to the Cumbrians' attacking options after the recent departures of loanees Ashley Nadesan, Jerry Yates and Adam Campbell.

Carlisle's director of football David Holdsworth said today: “He’s a young man who has been on our radar for a little while.

"He comes highly recommended and he’ll be a good addition to our squad at this time of the season.

"We want continuity, but we also want competition for places. 

“We’ve lost three of our attacking options we had on loan, so Connor will come in and be an excellent addition to that area of the pitch.

"He’s had a loan spell at Hyde where he scored eight goals in 15 games and everyone is talking about the lad having a really bright future. Hopefully that can start here."

Holdsworth, on the club website, added: “When you look at him you immediately notice his height, but he’s certainly got ability on the floor as well.

"We need a centre forward who can bring people into play when he’s asked to, but he isn’t just about his size."

Holdsworth said United are working on other targets despite the uncertainty over the manager position after last week's resignation of John Sheridan.

The Blues also remain hopeful of securing a loan return for Yates from Rotherham.

Simpson's deal remains subject to the clearance of paperwork.