PNE land record fee as Jordan Hugill joins West Ham
Preston North End have sold striker Jordan Hugill to West Ham United in a club record sale.
The 25-year-old completed his move to the Hammers in the few minutes of the transfer window after travelling to London on Wednesday afternoon to have a medical and agree personal terms - he has signed a four-and-a-half year contract.
While the fee is undisclosed, it comfortably beats the Â£6m which North End received for David Nugent from Portsmouth in July 2007.
And it is understood to be more than the Â£8m which Reading had turned down last summer.
Hugill's former club Port Vale are entitled to a percentage of the fee having agreed a sell-on clause when he joined PNE for Â£25,000.
A statement from PNE read: "Having discussed the potential move with the player, the club felt they could not stand in his way of the chance of top flight football after contact was instigated by the Hammers on Wednesday morning and the player indicated his desire to leave.
"Preston North End would like to thank Jordan for his efforts during his time with the club and wish him the very best for this fantastic opportunity."
Hugill has been a sought-after player for the last three transfer windows, with Ipswich making two bids for him last January.
In the summer, Wolves, Birmingham and Reading were all interested, with Reading seeing an Â£8m bid rejected at the end of August.
This month, it was only in the last couple of days of the window that speculation resurfaced.
Crystal Palace were linked with him on Tuesday, that leading to PNE boss Alex Neil leaving him out of the squad for the 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground as he felt Hugill wasn't in the right frame of mind.
West Ham's interest surfaced on Wednesday morning and the move to East London gives him a crack at the Premier League which few would begrudge considering his rise up the football ladder from non-league.
Hugill scored 30 goals in Preston colours, the first against his home-town team Middlesbrough in August 2014 and the last also being against Boro on New Year's Day at Deepdale.
Confirmation of the Hugill deal was the final piece of business done by North End on deadline day after Eoin Doyle left for Oldham on loan and Marnick Vermijl joined Scunthorpe, also on loan for the rest of the season.