Nuge’s next step: Today’s deadline could see Preston striker David Nugent leave

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The future of Preston North End striker David Nugent could get resolved today on what is expected to be otherwise a quiet last day of the transfer window.

Nugent hasn’t trained with the Lilywhites squad for some weeks and won’t be included in the 25-man squad which must be registered once the window closes.

The 35-year-old has the remainder of this season left on his contract, one he signed when rejoining PNE on a Bosman in July last year.

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If a club came in for Nugent today, he would be released from his contract.

David Nugent could leave North End todayDavid Nugent could leave North End today
David Nugent could leave North End today

Another option is to reach an agreement to pay him up and allow him to became a free agent.

That has to be done by the 5pm deadline to allow him to find another club beyond the window.

Being a free agent will have its advantages – clubs who find themselves short of a striker after the window are certain to look at someone of Nugent’s experience.

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It’s rather sad that his second coming at Deepdale hasn’t lived up to what the Liverpudlian did in his first spell as a PNE player.

Nugent scored 37 goals in two-and-a-half seasons after signing from Bury in January 2005 for £99,000.

He won his one England cap and scored in the 3-0 win over Andorra in March 2007 and it was three months later that a £6m move took him to Portsmouth.

North End brought him back on a Bosman after he’d left Derby County.

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He made 11 starts and 13 substitute appearances in the league last season, scoring one goal – that against Fulham in December 2019.

His last game for Preston was the 1-0 home defeat to Derby on July 1.

PNE are not expecting a busy end to the window although deadline day always has the potential to produce the unexpected.

Their one signing of the window came a fortnight ago with the arrival of Emil Riis from Randers FC in Denmark.

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All eyes have been on the ‘big four’ who are in the final year of their contracts – Ben Davies, Ben Pearson, Daniel Johnson and Alan Browne.

Centre-half Davies seems to have attracted the most attention, Bournemouth making a bid last month which was rejected.

Sheffield United, West Ham and Celtic have been linked with Davies.

Johnson had attention from Rangers ahead of the start of the season, with the Ibrox side only going as far as a £1.5m offer.

One move done yesterday saw second-year scholar Jacob Holland-Wilkinson join Lancaster City on a youth loan.

The 17-year-old striker recently had a loan spell with Kendal Town.