WYCOMBE Wanderers have sold hitman Stuart Beavon to Preston North End tonight for an undisclosed fee.

The 28-year-old, who scored 25 goals as the Blues were relegated from League One last season, has put pen to paper on a two-year deal at Deepdale after he told Wanderers he wanted to leave.

It brings to an end a summer of speculation and a very public pursuit by Preston manager Graham Westley, who finally landed his man just minutes before the transfer window slammed shut.

Wanderers joint-chairman Don Woodward said: “Obviously we are sorry to see a player of his calibre leave but the deal is in the best interests of all parties.

“Stuart deserves the chance to play at the highest possible level at an important stage of his career.”

The former Weymouth striker - who scooped both the fans’ and players’ player of the year award last term - found the net 34 times in 126 appearances during his two-and-a-half years at Adams Park.

Blues boss Gary Waddock said: “I would like to thank him for what he’s done for the club, in particular last year when he was fantastic.

“Preston have got themselves a very talented player who scored a lot of goals in League One last season.

“There has been a lot of rumour and speculation about his future throughout the summer, but the deal is now complete and I wish him all the best for the future.”

Beavon, who will wear the number 29 shirt for North End, was left sweating right up until the final minutes of the transfer window but he was pleased the protracted deal finally went through.

He told Preston’s official website: “I am buzzing, it has been going on quite a while and I am delighted to get the deal done.

“I was told it could go to the wire and it did. The manager made it clear he wanted to sign me and I only wanted to come here and I knew that.”

Beavon’s new boss was also thrilled to finally land his number one transfer target and pointed to the diminutive hit-man’s goalscoring record in League One as the reason why he remained so patient.

Westley said: “It has been a long wait and we have turned a lot of other options down in order to get to where we are, but patience has been a virtue in this particular instance.

“He was our number one choice. He proved himself last year at this level and I am a great believer in signing people who have proved themselves at this level.

“He led the line alone at times last season; he has got a terrific work rate as well as a prolific rate in front of goal.”

Wanderers signed forward Jo Kuffour on a free transfer earlier this week after he was released from Gillingham.