Steve Cotterill admits he doesn’t expect David Nugent to remain at Pompey.
The Blues boss believes the 25-year-old will not sign a new deal this summer and instead walk out of Fratton Park for nothing.
Nugent has still given Cotterill no indication of what his decision will be.
But the Pompey manager has a ‘gut feeling’ his leading goalscorer has already plotted his future elsewhere.
Nugent netted his 13th goal of the season with a stunning 20-yard strike in the second half of yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley.
As it stands, though, a contract initially tabled in December has not been signed.
Instead, the former Preston man can look at other options after a fine season with the Blues.
And Cotterill does not think Nugent will be at Fratton Park beyond this summer.
He said: ‘I think Nuge will leave, that is what I think will happen.
‘There had been a call into his agent for a long, long time.
‘Maybe he will now ring back once he reads this because you will write it in The News.
‘I’ll think he’ll go, though. That is just my gut feeling.
‘I am okay with it if that is what’s going to happen. That’s just what I think. I think that will happen.
‘That is my honest opinion.’
Nugent’s latest goal came against the club he spent last season on loan with.
He could have won it for Pompey, too, failing to net with a one-on-one in the 85th minute when faced with keeper Brian Jensen.
Still, for the one-time England international, his goal continues to enhance a reputation in a campaign which has transformed his career.
Nugent has blossomed under Cotterill to the point where Blues fans are eager to see him commit his future to Fratton Park.
It remains to be seen, though, whether he is going to extend a stay which began in the summer of 2007 following a £6m switch from Preston.
Yet, with two matches to go this season, Cotterill was not impressed with the striker’s overall Turf Moor contribution.
He added: ‘His display was average, absolutely no more than average.
‘It was very average and he scored a great goal – that was Nuge’s contribution for me.
‘He could have won it at the end but he was average.
‘He has been a lot better than that this season, for sure.’
– NEIL ALLEN
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