Jim keeps Premiership loan options open

BLUES boss Jim Magilton may have to wait until after Portsmouth's FA Cup quarter-final tie with Manchester United before finding out if he can take the one time England striker on loan.

Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton may have to wait until after Portsmouth's FA Cup quarter-final tie with Manchester United before finding out if he can take the one time England striker on loan.

We reported at the beginning of February how Magilton was looking to make an audacious swoop to land Nugent on loan but would wait until this Friday so the player so the 93-day period would incorporate the play-off final.

The Blues boss has now confirmed that he has indeed tried to land the striker and Pompey boss Harry Redknapp could give Town his response this morning, although Magilton is not expecting a deal to be done until after this weekend at the earliest.

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Magilton said: “It will probably go beyond Friday.

“We have asked Portsmouth about taking him on loan and they have not ruled it out.

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“It is a big decision for Portsmouth and it is a big decision for the lad.

“We are well aware if he did come he is not 100 per cent, but he is making massive strides to get fit so we will wait and see what happens.”

Nugent has scored seven goals in six games against Town, mainly for Preston and one for Pompey, which knocked Town out of the FA cup last month.

Magilton said: “He loves Portman Road and he loves scoring goals here, so it would be good to have him in a Blues shirt. If we did get him it would be a coup for this club.”

Fulham striker David Healy, who Magilton knows well from Northern Ireland, is also another possibility and Magilton would not rule out making a move for him if he didn't land Nugent.

He said: “It is important we have one or two options. We have a couple on the back burner and it comes down to managers wanting to let go of squad players. It has been difficult because they have been reluctant to let people go but that won't stop me making enquiries.”

Magilton confirmed he is not interested in Newcastle defender David Edgar and insisted he wanted a more experienced defender to come in.

He said: “We are still working on that. We are looking at favourites, players experienced at this level.”

Town are still looking to send players out on loan with Tommy Smith today expected to join Town team-mate Sammy Moore at Blue Square Premier league club Stevenage Borough.

Midfielder Gavin Williams is also expected to go out on loan with Magilton confirming that contract talks had broken down with the Welshman.

Magilton said: “The situation with Gavin arose because he turned down a new deal. His contract is up next year and we offered him another year but he turned it down. We have competition for places and he has found himself out on a limb at the moment.

“He doesn't want to be playing reserve team football and I sympathise with that.

“It will come down to what is right for the football club and what is right for him. We have heard murmurs but we have not had any enquiries. If I get a phone call from a club I will ask Gavin the question and if he wants to go he can.

“We all know what a good player he is and he is only a couple of injuries away from getting back in.”

The Blues have no fresh injury concerns ahead of their trip to Stoke, although David Norris (heel) Jon Walters (knee) and Alan Lee (Achilles) all have niggly injuries but will be available.

DID you know:

If David Nugent signs for Ipswich Town he will make up the trio of players that have scored on their England debut but not played for their country again.

The other two, Francis Jeffers and Paul Goddard, have also played for the Blues.

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