Jordan Hugill sale was the right decision says PNE boss Alex Neil

Alex Neil and Jordan Hugill
Alex Neil and Jordan Hugill

Preston North End manager Alex Neil says the decision to sell Jordan Hugill to West Ham United was best for the club and player.

ALSO READ: Capital gains as Jordan Hugill leaves Preston for West Ham in record sale

Hugill joined the Hammers just before Wednesday night's transfer deadline for a fee around the £9.5m mark, the striker signing a four-and-a-half year contract.

It was a club record sale for a player, beating the £6m they sold David Nugent for in 2007.

Speaking on Thursday morning at the Springfields training ground, Neil said: "We are not a club which has commanded huge amounts of transfer fees in the past, we are not a club who have spent huge transfer fees in the past.

"What we have done is sold one of our players for a record transfer fee, I think that is a good thing.

Jordan Hugill tussles for the ball against Barnsley on Boxing Day

Jordan Hugill tussles for the ball against Barnsley on Boxing Day

"Jordan two years ago wasn't even playing in the team, so for him to have moved to the Premier League for the amount of cash he has done I think speaks volumes for him and how we have developed as a club.

"Transfer windows are always difficult, it gets to a stage where the player and the club think it is best for both parties that we move past it and move on.

"Jordan had a year-and-a-half on his contract to go, we knocked back big money for him in the summer because we didn't have enough forward options really which we were comfortable with.

"We obviously then went and signed Louis Moult and Billy Bodin.

Jordan Hugill scores against Sheffield United

Jordan Hugill scores against Sheffield United

"I didn't think Jordan's form over the last couple of months had been at its best and this was the sole route of it.

"I sat down and spoke to him at length about it - individually just me and him having a chat about it.

"I just want to stress that he phoned me and thanked me this morning, we have a great relationship and there was no breakdown.

"People will probably comment that he went in a strop the other night, that is why he wasn't in the squad.

PNE manager Alex Neil

PNE manager Alex Neil

"That is entirely untrue, I made the decision because I didn't think the lad's head was right.

"You have to bear in mind that he is a young kid from Middlesbrough who came through the hard way to get to where he is.

"When that type of cash is getting flung at you, it is naturally going to turn his head.

"I made the best decision for the team and for him, I didn't think he was in the best state of mind.

"People don't see that side of football.

"For both parties, the club get a record transfer fee and Jordan has a great opportunity at the highest level.

"I don't see any negatives in it."

Neil admitted to some frustrating that he hadn't been able to bring in another signing in addition to Moult, Bodin and Connor Simpson.

North End made two bids for Oxford United midfielder Ryan Ledson during the window, both of which were rejected.

It wasn't for the want of trying and without naming the club or player, Neil revealed how a deal hadn't been able to be reached.

Neil said: "When you are trying to negotiate with another club about a player and they are not willing to talk to you, it becomes really difficult because you are sort of negotiating with yourself.

"That is what happened, we were trying to get a price and couldn't get one.

"It impossible to buy someone if no one is listening to what you are trying to do in terms of getting money across.

"It wasn't a case of us not stumping up the money, the simple fact was that no negotiations could take place because they wouldn't talk."

Neil added that the big money received for Hugill would not change North End's approached in the transfer market.

He said: "The way the club works is that Mr Hemmings owns the club, he puts his money in and runs it at a loss every year.

"If I said to you that you've got a business, you put your own money in and you will lose it every single year, you wouldn't do it.

"His generosity and the way he goes about it is fantastic for us, allows us to keep the club on a stable footing at the level we are competing at.

"He will put his money in when and if he chooses to do so.

"Myself and Peter Ridsdale will recommend players who we think we will add value to the squad.

"We are never going to be a big-spending club, that is a simple facts of it."