Cork City are in talks with Championship outfit Preston North End about the possibility of the English club investing in the Irish side which endured a tough year financially in 2019.
Officials from Preston are reported to have been in Ireland on Tuesday as discussions progressed, although the Irish club played down the suggestion that a full blown takeover was a possibility.
The two clubs have maintained a positive relationship in recent years as Sean Maguire, Alan Browne and Kevin O'Connor all headed to England from the fan owned Irish side. While Preston spent a portion of their preseason in Cork last summer and played a friendly at Turner's Cross. Any investment however would have to be agreed on by Cork City's members.
City, though, are in need of new investment as they have struggled in recent times with substantial budget cuts imposed during what was a difficult season last year. In December, it was revealed that the club had had to do a deal with Revenue over unpaid taxes and penalties totalling €88,000 - although this is said to have been partly down to a misinterpretation of the rules.
There has been widespread speculation that the restrictions to be imposed on British clubs signing overseas players at the end of this year as a result of Brexit might lead to clubs there attempting to form partnerships with, invest in or even takeover Irish clubs which would allow them to develop players here until they turned 18.
Preston are one of a number of English sides who have demonstrated a particular belief in the value of recruiting from within the game here.