EXETER City’s top scorer Jayden Stockley has joined Championship side Preston North End for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old has penned a three-and-a-half year deal at Deepdale.

Preston beat off the likes of Millwall and MK Dons to sign Stockley, who has scored 53 goals in 98 appearances for the Grecians. It is believed Preston will be paying around £750,000 for the forward.

Stockley admitted it was tough to leave St James’ Park and has not ruled out returning in the future.

He said: “I want to say how much I appreciate the club for taking me back here and the way I’ve been treated by the fans since I’ve been here. Everyone has helped look after my young family and allowed us to be happy, really properly happy, for the first time in my career.

“The fans are lovely, they come up to you and they’re so polite and passionate for the club. I hope that they feel that was reciprocated back because I absolutely loved playing for Exeter. I got what it meant to play for the club, I tried to play with passion every time and every song they sang to me really meant a lot.”

Preston manager Alex Neil is delighted to have secured Stockley’s signature.

He said: “He will certainly give us a different option. He is a good age as well, 25, and he is fully fit. He has been playing regularly for Exeter, which is a big thing, because sometimes when you do business in January, you can bring in guys who haven’t been playing, whereas that is not the case here and we hope he can come in and hit the ground running.”


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