Preston play down Jordan Hugill to Crystal Palace speculation

Jordan Hugill has been linked with a move to Crystal Palace
Jordan Hugill has been linked with a move to Crystal Palace

Preston North End have played down speculation linking striker Jordan Hugill with a big-money switch to Crystal Palace.

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Jordan Hugill after the final whistle at Sheffield United last Saturday

Jordan Hugill after the final whistle at Sheffield United last Saturday

A national newspaper carried a report that Premier League side Palace had agreed an £8m deal with North End for the 25-year-old.

On Tuesday morning, PNE said that Palace had not been in contact with them about Hugill.

In fact, the last official contact from any club about the front man had been towards the end of the August transfer window when Reading had an £8m offer rejected.

Hugill, who is contracted to North End to the summer of 2019, was expected to attract plenty of interest this month following the attention he got last summer.

Jordan Hugill in action against Barnsley on Boxing Day

Jordan Hugill in action against Barnsley on Boxing Day

But it is only in the last 24 hours or so that speculation has started to surface.

It could well be that an agent is trying to drum up interest and the fact a Premier League club have been linked could indicate a top-flight move would be the only type sanctioned by North End rather than to a Championship rival.

If firm interest was to come in from the Premier League, the asking price would likely to be much higher than £8m - Hugill's former club Port Vale will be entitled to a percentage of any fee after agreeing a sell-on clause when they sold him to Preston for £25,000 in June 2014.

Hugill has made 75 starts and 39 substitute appearances for North End, scoring 30 goals.

Jordan Hugill battles for the ball against Sheffield United in December

Jordan Hugill battles for the ball against Sheffield United in December

In the last two seasons he has established himself as PNE's main striker and is this term's leading scorer with 10 goals - eight of those in the Championship.

North End are in action on Tuesday night when they play Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

The transfer window shuts at 11pm on Wednesday.

If Hugill was to leave, it would leave little time for Preston to bring in a replacement.

With Sean Maguire still recovering from hamstring surgery, January buy Louis Moult is the only other out-and-out senior striker on the books.

Connor Simpson, 18, was signed from Hartlepool earlier in the month but has not played at league level yet.