Nugent set to leave Pompey as Phillips released by Birmingham

ON the day Paul Jewell is meeting with a mystery transfer target, two former Premier League strikers are about to come on the free transfer market.

Veteran striker Kevin Phillips was this morning released by Birmingham along with Sebastian Larsson and Lee Bowyer following the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

And David Nugent’s departure from Portsmouth has moved a step closer after Pompey boss Steve Cotterill revealed he is still in the dark over whether the striker will sign a new contract at the club.

Nugent, 26, had claimed he wanted his future sorted before the end of this month and Cotterill admitted he had heard nothing from the Blues’ leading goalscorer last season.

Cotterill said: “There has been a long enough time now for Nuge to have sat down and sorted out a contract – and it hasn’t happened.

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“When he said he wanted to wait, I thought he would have had this settled by the end of May but I have heard nothing. I have no idea what he is going to do.

“He said he would speak to me before anything else happens. Well, I have not spoken to him. That is where we are with it. The ball is still in his court, it is up to him.

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“Nuge has had enough time to sit down and try to thrash out a contract and it hasn’t happened. I don’t expect it to, either. My gut feeling is I would be surprised if he was here next season.”

Faced with a takeover wrangle, Cotterill also revealed he had missed out on one transfer target – believed to be Gareth McAuley – but is still hopeful of securing David Norris to Fratton Park.

Jewell is due to meet a potential new signing in Ipswich today although the club are still keeping tight-lipped over the identity of the new man, with speculation that it is Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra.

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