Preston North End’s striker search continues and David Nugent looks for a new club

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Preston North End’s search for a new striker remains a balancing act with attempts to lighten the number of the current squad.

The Lilywhites currently have 25 players aged 21 and above in their squad – which is the maximum allowed in the Championship under new EFL rules for this season.

Josh Ginnelly’s loan move to Hearts on Wednesday took it down to 25 and North End hope David Nugent can find a new home in order to create room for an incoming deal.

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Championship clubs are allowed as many players who were aged 21 and below on January 1 this year.

Preston striker David Nugent is being allowed to speak to other clubs to get a movePreston striker David Nugent is being allowed to speak to other clubs to get a move
Preston striker David Nugent is being allowed to speak to other clubs to get a move

Tom Bayliss falls into this category having only turned 21 in April – Adam O’Reilly, Ethan Walker and Jack Baxter are the other youngsters in the first-team squad.

If North End were to make the permanent signing of a player below the age of 21, he would not count towards the 25 -player quota.

However, any loan signing made – irrespective of their age – would be included in the 25-man squad under the new rules.

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Peter Ridsdale, advisor to North End owner Trevor Hemmings, told the Lancashire Post: “ We are still trying to bring in a striker.

“We have made bids over the last few weeks but for varying reasons they have not worked out.

“I don’t want to go into the names of who they are but a lot of the names I’ve seen us linked with have been wide of the mark.

“We recognise that in the ideal world we need a striker to help us complete the jigsaw.

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“What we have to bear in mind is that we can only have a 25-man squad this season.

“At the moment we have 25 senior players, that would go down to 24 if David Nugent got a new club. A player’s age does have a bearing on this. If we signed a striker permanently who was below the age of 21, they would not count towards the 25-man limit.

“If we went and got a 19-year-old on loan from a Premier League team, he would count.”

Nugent has North End’s permission to talk to other clubs and would be allowed to go for free.

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The 35-year-old has spoken with Northampton about the possibility of going there.

Said Ridsdale: “There’s been some interest in Nuge and he is able to talk to clubs.

“Nuge is training with us and hopefully he can get something sorted out.”

North End are in action today against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane (2pm) in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

They go to Goodison Park tomorrow (3pm)to face Everton. Darnell Fisher is expected to play in one of the games after recovering from a calf injury.