'I'd love to say 100% that he will be here but I can't' - Hurst on 'firm' Waghorn interest
PUBLISHED: 08:43 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:32 19 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst has admitted he can't guarantee leading scorer Martyn Waghorn will still be at the club by the time the new season starts.
The 28-year-old, who scored 16 goals last season, has been linked with a move away this summer with the likes of Derby, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest all said to have shown an interest.
Hurst described that interest as ‘firm’ but insisted the Blues’ valuation of Waghorn has not been met, while admitting he can’t say for certain that last season’s top marksman will be available to him when the season begins on August 4.
“I’m not here to try and fool anyone, I never do, because there is interest there – firm interest,” he said, speaking on the BBC Suffolk Breakfast Show.
“I’ve said to Martyn I would like him to stay at the football club and we’ll see how that unfolds.
“I’d love to be able to say to you and the listeners 100% that Martyn Waghorn will be in the team against Blackburn but I can’t honestly say that.
“But at the minute I don’t think we are close to meeting the valuation for the player and, really, I’d like him here.”
Hurst has used Waghorn both as a central striker and in a withdrawn forward role during pre-season and, should he remain at the club, the new manager sees him as key part of his side.
“It was a fantastic deal by Mick to bring him in, and from the football club in general at that level,” he said.
“Also, what he produced was fantastic and his stats are arguably the highest in the Championship in terms of goals and assists.
“So he’s a major player for us.”
Hurst also addressed potential arrivals, with the transfer window for permanent signings due to close on August 9.
“We have (to move quickly),” he added. “We’re certainly trying. My phone is in danger of exploding, I’m having lots of conversations and other people at the football club are working extremely hard to do that.
“At the same time we won’t be held to ransom, we’ve got to get value for money, and that’s what we’ll continue to try and do.”