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Last Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Sunderland withdraw Nugent offer
Preston striker David Nugent
Nugent joined Preston from Bury in January 2005
Sunderland have pulled out of the race for Preston striker David Nugent.

According to the Black Cats website, they agreed a fee believed to be 7m with the North End for the 22-year-old but will now focus on other targets.

Club chief executive Peter Walker said: "I can confirm we have withdrawn our offer for the player.

"Naturally work continues behind the scenes to strengthen our squad ahead of the new season and talks are on-going with a number of targets."

Nugent was given permission to speak to two clubs after he returned from duty with the England Under-21 squad at the European Championship last month.

One of the teams was believed to be Sunderland, while West Ham and Everton were also linked with him.

BBC Sport understands that talks had taken place with the player and his representatives for a month before Sunderland boss Roy Keane became frustrated with the situation.

606: DEBATE

Nugent joined Preston from Bury in January 2005 for a fee believed to be in the region of 100,000.

The Liverpool-born forward has made 94 Championship appearances for Preston, scoring 33 goals.

Sheffield United tried to buy him in the January 2007 transfer window but North End rejected the offer.

But the striker made it clear last season that he saw his future in the Premiership.

"I want to be playing in the Premiership week in, week out, that's where I need to be," he said.

"I want it to be with Preston, but if not, it'll have to be somewhere else."

Preston finished seventh in last season's Championship, missing out on a place in the play-offs.

Nugent is an Everton fan and has previously said: "My hero was Duncan Ferguson and, hopefully, I will play for them in my career and I'm confident I will do."

He made his full England debut in the win over Andorra in March, scoring in the final minute of the game.

The cap was the first by a Preston player since Sir Tom Finney and he became England's first outfield player from outside the top-flight since Michael Gray in 1999.



SEE ALSO
Nugent delays decision over move
23 Jul 07 |  Preston
Andorra 0-3 England
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals


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