Portsmouth, Ipswich and Barnsley-linked striker George Hirst not included in 31-man Leicester squad currently in France for pre-season training

Former Pompey striker George Hirst has not travelled with the Leicester squad for their pre-season training camp in the French Alps.
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According to Leicestershire Live, the forward is not in the 31-man group manager Brendan Rodgers took to Évian-les-Bains on Monday ahead of a friendly against OH Leuven on Saturday.

His absence comes after the 23-year-old took no part in the Foxes’ friendly double-header against Notts County on Saturday.

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There have been no reports that the former Blues loanee is carrying an injury, after being involved in training with the first team upon their return to their Seagrave base two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Hirst’s exclusion is made all the more noticeable given that Rodgers has included four of the King Power Stadium’s most promising youngsters in their trip to France – teenagers Ben Nelson, Sammy Braybrooke and Will Alves and 22-year-old Callum Wright, whom Blues boss Danny Cowley is an admirer of,

Up-and-coming goalkeepers Jakub Stolarczyk and Chituru Odunze have also travelled in the absence of Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Ward.

The former Blues loanee’s no-show will inevitably lead to speculation about his Leicester future.

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Pompey boss Cowley has made no secret that he would love to have the striker back at PO4 after he netted 13 goals over the second half of last season.

Former Pompey loanee George Hirst   Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.comFormer Pompey loanee George Hirst   Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Former Pompey loanee George Hirst Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Hirst remains his top target as the Fratton Park side’s search for attacking reinforcements continues, with Cowley urging to club to move ‘heaven and earth’ to bring him back.

The manager also remains in regular contract both with the player and the Premier League side as he continues attempts to lure the front man back to Fratton Park.

He has often asked for patience as well as top-flight sides wait to make judgements on their up-and-coming players in pre-season.

Pompey aren’t the only ones interested, though.

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The News revealed this week that Ipswich have already had a bid turned down for the former Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday forward.

Meanwhile, Barnsley are also reportedly keen.

Although, keen to prove his ability to Rodgers at Leicester, Hirst would welcome a return to the south coast, after being embraced by the Fratton faithful last season.