PNE turn down Hugill bid

Jordan Hugill challenges Morecambe's Ben Hedley. Photo: Neil Cross
Jordan Hugill challenges Morecambe's Ben Hedley. Photo: Neil Cross
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Preston North End have knocked back a bid from Championship rivals Birmingham City for striker Jordan Hugill.

The offer from the Blues was understood to be around the £2.5m mark and did not impress North End.

In January, they turned down two bids from Ipswich for Hugill, the second of those being £2m.

With the going rate for Championship strikers going through the roof currently, Birmingham’s offer fell very short of the market value.

Hugill, who started PNE’s 2-0 win over Morecambe at the Globe Arena last night, scored 13 goals last season – 12 of them in the league.

As well as Ipswich’s two bids in January and this latest interest from Birmingham, an enquiry was made by Wolves for him earlier in the summer.

When putting a valuation on 25-year-old Hugill, North End have to bear in mind that his former club Port Vale have a sell-on clause.

He joined Preston from Vale in June 2014 for £25,000 youth compensation after his contract with the Potteries club had run out.

Steadily he has developed his game, last season a real breakthrough one for him in terms of starting in the PNE team.

Birmingham’s interest is not new, with their manager Harry Redknapp having name-checked Hugill in an interview earlier in the month.

“I like him,” Redknapp said.

“He’s quick, strong, powerful, raw, a handful.

“He’s a good player but he belongs to Preston.”

Hugill is under contract at North End for two years and that is in their favour.

It is understood that talks have been ongoing for some time with his representative about a new deal.

Preston manager Alex Neil would not be drawn on the Hugill speculation after the Morecambe game.

Neil said: “Once anything happens in terms of decision making, then you will find out.”

Hugill played an hour of the Morecambe friendly as Neil stepped-up the game time for some of his players last night.

Tom Barkhuizen and Ben Pearson were on target to give the Lilywhites victory.

Neil made 10 substitutions at the hour mark, with Daniel Johnson the only North End player to play 90 minutes.

This evening, Neil takes his side to the Crown Ground to face Accrington Stanley.

Those who came on as subs last night will start tonight’s friendly.

Paul Gallagher was ruled out by a tight hamstring last night and won’t be risked at Accrington.

Josh Harrop returned to training yesterday after a calf muscle injury and is likely to see some action in Saturday’s game against Newcastle at Deepdale.