Magilton's top targets revealed

NOW that Jim Magilton has told David Nugent he can 'sod off' Ipswich are turning their interest elsewhere.Finding the right sort of proven finisher at championship level with the potential to be a more than decent Premier League player, is not easy but there are hugest out there and the Town scouts and coaches have been working hard to bring one to Town.

Derek Davis

NOW that Jim Magilton has told David Nugent he can 'sod off' Ipswich are turning their interest elsewhere.

Finding the right sort of proven finisher at championship level with the potential to be a more than decent Premier League player, is not easy but there are hugest out there and the Town scouts and coaches have been working hard to bring one to Town.

David Healy, Danny Webber, Rob Earnshaw and Kenny Miller are all possible targets while a couple more targets were frustratingly snapped up while the Nugent loan saga rumbled on.

Magilton's patience snapped when Portsmouth's medical staff phoned to say Nugent would still not be fit after recovering from an abductor strain and it appeared the player's desire to play for Town did not exactly inspire.

So Magilton called the whole thing off and fired this broadside at the Pompey

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"Portsmouth have been very good about this but we've spoken to the player and we haven't had a response.

"So David Nugent can sod off and play for whoever he wants now. The very least we deserve is a phone call or something to suggest he's not available.

"Premier League players who are not in their squads seem to choose the option of not coming out and playing.

"I was at a Premier League club and my self-satisfaction was zero if I wasn't playing on a Saturday, but the game has moved on and these lads seem quite happy to pick up their money and sit there and not play."

Fortunately Town's game with Cardiff City on Saturday was called off as the Welsh side are playing in the FA Cup and even though the loan window does not close until Thursday March 27, Magilton still wants someone in by the time Town go to Barnsley next Tuesday.

Who to get though, that fits in with the current squad and is available?

Magilton's interest in David Healy goes back to last season, even before his fellow Ulsterman left Leeds for Fulham but the Town boss did not seem so keen to bring him in when asked about the striker last Friday.

Magilton said: “I'm a long time admirer of David Healy but I'm not sure he fits in with what we want right now.”

Healy's 13 goals in 12 European Championship qualifiers, with Magilton seeing every one of them, is a competition record but his return in the Premiership has not been as impressive with just three in 23 games.

Roy Hodgson, brought in after Laurie Sanchez was sacked, has the job of saving Fulham from relegation and while he has not used Healy yet was quoted last Friday as saying: “There has been an inquiry for David but I've decided not to let him go at the moment.

"That could change with circumstances but he is a goalscorer and may still come in useful for us."

Those circumstances include FIFA relenting and allowing Daniel Cousins to sign from Rangers but the three club rule has scuppered all parties.

Healy is way down the pecking order at Craven Cottage but still hopes to change Hodgson's mind and a goal and an assist for the reserves against Birmingham on Tuesday, when he linked well with Erik Nevland may help his cause.

Healy has said in the past that he would love to play for Magilton and that might help if Magilton decided to go in for him and it came to the player making a decision, with QPR and Sheffield Wednesday already showing an interest.

Another name that keeps cropping up is Rob Earnshaw, who worked with town coach Steve Foley at Norwich, and is a proven scorer at this level.

The Welsh international is wanted by his former club Cardiff City but Derby manager Paul Jewell is not keen to let him go out on loan and may favour a more permanent deal, something Town can afford and Cardiff can't. Although, again, it would be down to the out-of-favour player.

Another intriguing prospect is former Wolves and Celtic striker Kenny Miller who is getting a game at Pride Park but would be allowed to leave at the right price - loan fee and about £2m in the summer.

Sheffield United, who showed how many forwards they have on Tuesday night, would be willing to allow Danny Webber to leave but the striker has only just this week started training again after a cartilage operation and is a couple of weeks away from playing never mind finding match fitness.

While Magilton was holding out for Nugent two other players he would not have minded bring in have moved elsewhere on loan. Leroy Lita went from Reading to Town's play-off rivals Charlton, while West Brom have allowed Craig Beattie to go to relegation battlers Preston.

That means the pool of available players has shrunk and Magilton's task is even harder but he is determined not to be put off because that one or two extra players could mean him cursing about the difference between going up, or staying down.

N Nugent - a case of unrequited love, see page 53