Preston North End have confirmed a new deal for striker Ched Evans which could give Derby County a boost in their pursuit to sign Luton Town’s James Collins.

According to a recent report in the Telegraph, Derby and Preston are going head-to-head in the race to sign Luton’s Collins who is available on a free transfer this summer.

The 30-year-old’s contract at Kenilworth Road is expiring, and his situation has alerted Luton’s Championship rivals as Collins hits double figures for the second season running.

Both Derby and Preston have struggled for goals this season.

Shrewsbury Town v Luton Town - Sky Bet League One
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But Preston signed Evans initially on a short-term deal in January, and he has gone on to make 15 Championship starts for the Lillywhites, scoring three goals.

Now, Preston have confirmed a new deal for Evans until 2023.

While the current manager-less Lancashire club may still be on the lookout for extra firepower this summer, a new striker is arguably no longer at the top of their agenda.

Derby, meanwhile, may have a clearer shot in their attempts to sign Collins.

The Rams are lacking options. Colin Kazim-Richards is 35, while Martyn Waghorn is out of contract this summer and Lee Gregory will return to Stoke City after his loan.

Collins, 30, has scored over 60 goals for the Hatters since 2017 and has helped the club rise from League Two to being safely in midtable in the Championship this term.

Luton Town v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship
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Luton boss Nathan Jones dubbed him a ‘brilliant’ striker in a recent interview for Luton Today, while his rise has seen Collins become a full Republic of Ireland international.

With Derby expected to have tight finances this summer, signing the 6ft 2inch striker on a free transfer could turn out to be fantastic deal for the Pride Park club.

Also see: ‘Special player’: Some Derby fans praise wide talent who Rooney should target this summer

Also see: Report claims club seeks £5m for Derby target who has netted 18 goals this season

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