Preston are in the market for another striker this summer, and Jordan Hugill is a name that just won’t go away.
Last month, we covered claims from The Sun that Hugill was ‘set’ for a Deepdale return. We felt that, whilst interest may well be real, a deal will be nowhere near to completion.
Three weeks on, Hugill still hasn’t moved anywhere. He’s still with West Ham, and was recently seen training at their pre-season trip to Switzerland.
The 27-year-old has only ever made four appearances for West Ham, and spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough. 18 months since West Ham paid more than £8million to sign him (LEP), Hugill is an outcast.
Today, Hugill’s situation deteriorated again. West Ham have named their squad for the Premier League Asia Trophy, and Hugill is nowhere to be seen.
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Michail Antonio, Javier Hernandez, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko are the only ‘forwards’ named. However, Hernandez and Antonio are the only two with any experience as a centre forward.
Even with West Ham short of numbers in attack, Hugill isn’t under consideration. Lucas Perez, Marko Arnautovic and Andy Carroll have all left the club, but it hasn’t helped Hugill’s cause.
It seems pretty clear that Manuel Pellegrini has no plans for Hugill. He’ll likely stay back in England and continue the process of searching for a new club.
Could that be Preston? Well, we’ve no doubt that there would be interest at the right price. A permanent deal may be beyond North End though, and his wages would shatter the pay structure.
Alex Neil’s best hope of a deal is if nobody signs Hugill towards the end of the transfer window, and West Ham virtually give him away. Today’s news pushed Hugill another step closer to the exit door, but maybe not in the direction of Deepdale – for now at least.