Louis Moult: Preston agree deal for Motherwell striker
Last updated on .From the section Motherwell
Motherwell have agreed to sell top scorer Louis Moult to Preston for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £500,000.
The 25-year-old will move on 1 January and sign a three-and-a-half-year deal with the English Championship side.
Moult has missed Well's past two matches with a hamstring injury but the club say he remains available for potential selection before his switch.
He moved to Fir Park from Wrexham in the summer of 2015.
The former Stoke trainee scored 18 goals in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and is on 14 for the current campaign, giving him a tally of 50 in 98 appearances for the club.
In a video posted on Motherwell's official Twitter account, Moult said it was a "career" decision to return to England.
"It is a step in the right direction, it is Championship football. I can't wait to get going for Preston," Moult said.
"First and foremost, it is a massive compliment that Championship clubs were looking at me and Preston have come for me. It shows how much they wanted me by paying a fee for me and I appreciate that. It is up to me to repay that faith.
"[Motherwell] has been ridiculous for me, in terms of my family, my football, on and off the pitch, it was the right move for me and I enjoyed every moment.
"If you would have said I would score 50 goals in two-and-a-half seasons I would have laughed at you. But that was just the icing on the cake for me."
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson says the Fir Park club had to consider the pros and cons of selling Moult now or letting his contract run down to the end of the season.
"The player made clear he would not be extending his stay after the end of the season. So when the offer came from Preston, we had to weigh up whether the money would benefit the club against the risk and reward of keeping him and then allowing him to leave on a free," Robinson said.
"We accepted the offer based on that it would be best for all parties now."
Motherwell made repeated bids to extend Moult's stay, while a summer offer from league rivals Aberdeen was rejected.
"We were obviously desperate for the player to stay with us and made him numerous offers over the last 12 months, the last of which being literally everything this club can realistically afford, given our size," said chairman Jim McMahon.
"However, we also understand and appreciate the player was made a life-changing offer from Preston and we completely respect his wish and desire to move on now."
Subject to national and international clearance, Moult will be eligible to make his Preston debut at Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup on 6 January.