Hayes had plenty of options before joining Preston
Former Norwich City striker Paul Hayes turned down overtures from the Canaries' League One promotion rivals Leeds to join Preston. The 26-year-old is now poised to line up against his boyhood club in the Championship next season after signing a three-year-deal at Deepdale following a free transfer switch from Scunthorpe.
Former Norwich City striker Paul Hayes turned down overtures from the Canaries' League One promotion rivals Leeds to join Preston.
The 26-year-old is now poised to line up against his boyhood club in the Championship next season after signing a three-year-deal at Deepdale following a free transfer switch from Scunthorpe.
The Canaries were reportedly among a clutch of interested clubs and North End boss Darren Ferguson confirmed Hayes was a wanted man.
"The lad had other options, big clubs as well, Leeds and people like that were very interested," he said. "He made it very clear when I spoke to him and told him where I wanted to go with the club. He made it clear he wanted to come here and he never changed his mind and that says all I needed to know about him. I am absolutely delighted to get him on board.
"Paul is a player I know well. He has got good experience, at 26 he is a good age, he's not a massively prolific goalscorer but he will get goals and he will make goals. He has had a fantastic partnership with the lad Hooper at Scunthorpe and he had a fantastic partnership with Billy Sharp, he's a player who ticks all the boxes. He can play up front on his own, he can play off the front, he is a very intelligent footballer and I am delighted to get him. For a free transfer he is an excellent signing."
Hayes revealed it was the chance to work under Ferguson that tipped the balance.
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"I think the manager sold it to me," said the striker, who scored 60 goals in 228 league appearances at the Iron after failing to make the grade at Carrow Road. "I've had a few meeting with other clubs but as soon as I've got here he has welcomed me and my family so it was the manager who sold it to me. I'm very pleased to have this deal done."