Cotterill in the dark on Nugent future

David Nugent celebrates a goal against Leicester with Steve Cotterill
David Nugent celebrates a goal against Leicester with Steve Cotterill
Blues forward Nicke Kabamba

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Steve Cotterill remains in the dark over David Nugent’s Pompey future.

But he doesn’t expect the Blues’ leading goalscorer last season to be back at Fratton Park next term.

Nugent previously insisted he would make a decision on whether to pen a new Pompey deal by the beginning of June.

As it stands, almost three weeks after the Blues’ season ended, Cotterill has heard nothing.

It is an ongoing silence which has strengthened the Pompey boss’ belief the former England man does not want to remain on the south coast.

Contract talks initially started back in December before being put on hold at the striker’s request.

Currently, Nugent has given no indication whether he wants them to resume.

In the meantime, he has been linked with a switch to fellow Championship side Ipswich.

And Cotterill admitted it would be a ‘surprise’ if the 26-year-old now pledged his future to Pompey.

He 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.

‘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.

‘My gut feeling is I would be surprised if he was here next season.

‘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 that he does not want to stay.’

Nugent enjoyed something of a resurgence to his career during the 2010-11 season.

Under the tutelage of Cotterill, he scored 14 goals in 48 games in comfortably his best-ever Fratton Park season.

That form unquestionably brought him to the attention of rival clubs, especially with his contract expiring this summer.

During the season, the former Preston man repeatedly insisted he had yet to make up his mind over his future.

But there will be no shortage of offers from elsewhere.

In the meantime, Cotterill is still waiting to learn whether he will have Nugent at his disposal next season.

But he is not holding his breath.

He added: ‘There is not a lot I have to say to him about the club because he has been here long enough.

‘He might be thinking he is out of contract and can he have another good season like the one he just had.

‘Perhaps he might be looking at the size of the squad.

‘He may even want to see who is in the squad before deciding.

‘I don’t know, I’m still waiting to hear from him.’