Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits Preston striker Jordan Hugill is a player ‘he’d like’

Ipswich Town have reportedly had a bid of �2m turned down for Preston North End striker Jordan Hugil

Ipswich Town have reportedly had a bid of �2m turned down for Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has admitted that Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill is a player ‘he’d like’ ahead of the Blues trip to Deepdale this weekend.

Daryl Horgan joined Preston instead of Ipswich Town at the start of January

Daryl Horgan joined Preston instead of Ipswich Town at the start of January - Credit: PA

Reports in Lancashire say that Town have had bids of £1.5m and £2m for the 24-year-old turned down.

The Middlesbrough-born front man played for string of non-league clubs before moving to Port Vale in 2013, then on to League One rivals Preston the following summer.

Following loan spells at Tranmere and Hartlepool, he has become a key man for Simon Grayson’s men and scored eight goals this season – including two last weekend as the Lilywhites battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Aston Villa.

Asked what he liked about Hugill, McCarthy said: “Everything he does. He’s a real competitor, he works hard, he’s quick, he never gives centre-halves a minute’s peace – we’ll be seeing that on Saturday no doubt.

“He’s somebody who has come into professional football a little bit later and he’s only going to get better. He’d be one I’d like. I won’t say anymore about that. I like him, he’s a good player.”

Preston, who are 11th in the Championship table, six points ahead of Town, will have another player in their squad on Saturday that McCarthy was recently keen on signing. The Blues boss travelled to Ireland to watch winger Daryl Horgan in action for Dundalk, but the 24-year-old opted to sign for Preston at the start of January.

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“I spoke to the agent and we were never close to what they were talking about,” explained McCarthy. “He’s a right-footer playing on the left wing. I quite liked him, but he wasn’t going to dislodge Tom Lawrence, so taking him in on a first-team wage just wasn’t do-able for us. There are things we can do and things we can’t and that was one that wasn’t going to happen.”

LIKELY LINE-UPS

PRESTON (4-4-2): Maxwell; Vermijl, Clarke, Huntington, Spurr; Gallagher, Browne, Johnson, McGeady; Robinson, Hugill.

IPSWICH TOWN (3-5-2): Bialkowski; Chambers, Digby, Berra; Spence, Skuse, Diagouraga, Bru, Knudsen; Lawrence, Pitman.