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Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Preston target Peterborough midfielder Paul Coutts

Paul Coutts
Coutts has made 16 league appearances for Posh this season

Peterborough United manager Mark Cooper has confirmed that Darren Ferguson has been in contact over a potential move for midfielder Paul Coutts.

The former Posh boss is keen to make Coutts his first signing at Preston, but an initial bid has been rejected.

Coutts, 21, was signed by Ferguson from Scottish side Cove Rangers in 2008.

"Darren clearly thinks Paul is a very good player and we always thought he might come in for him," Cooper told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Coutts was a virtual ever-present under Ferguson as Posh won promotion from League One last season.

Cooper is keen to hold onto the Scottish Under-21 international, but admits he could be tempted into cashing in.

"Every player in the world has his price and I would suggest that if the money is right and Paul wants to go then he will go," he said.

Posh face a crucial week in their battle for Championship survival with a trip to fourth-from-bottom Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday ahead of a home clash with Ferguson's Preston on Tuesday.

However, Cooper is facing a defensive crisis with both Ryan Bennett and Craig Morgan suspended for Saturday's match and Gabby Zakuani out injured.

Exodus Geohaghon is set to be partnered by utility-man Charlie Lee in the centre of the Posh defence for the trip to Hillsborough.

"We've only got two players available who can play centre-back, but we won't be moaning about it," added Cooper.

"It's a case of making the best of it and both Charlie and Exodus certainly want to be in the team."

Wednesday have moved out of the Championship drop zone thanks to wins over Blackpool and Barnsley under new boss Alan Irvine.

But Cooper says he has no interest in Wednesday's recent good form.

"Sheffield Wednesday's recent form makes no difference to us as we need 10 wins from the last 21 games and that's it," he said.

Meanwhile, Posh have completed permanent deals for Bennett, Geohaghon and left-back Scott Griffiths.

Bennett moves on a four-and-a-half year deal from Grimsby Town, while Geohaghon has penned a three-and-a-half year contract after moving from Kettering.

Griffiths has signed a three-and-a-half year deal after completing his move from Dagenham and Redbridge.

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