Date: 30th December 2005 at 12:20pm
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Blues are hot on the trail of Football League strike pair Izale McLeod of MK Dons and David Nugent of Preston as Steve Bruce continues his search for a hotshot front man.

The pair, who scored 18 and 13 goals respectively last term – though Nugent’s came in just half a season after his £100,000 transfer from Bury last January – may come in to replace Walter Pandiani, who could still be on his way despite Bruce claiming the opposite.

Bruce said: ‘It is no secret that we are looking for people so we are going to get linked with this player and that player. It is wrong for me to talk about individual players.

‘I went to watch Preston against Sheffield United and people are putting two and two together although, of course, it was an ideal opportunity to see the lad (Nugent).

‘McLeod is another one we have been keeping an eye on but that’s as far as that goes. That is where we are at with it.

‘It’s going to be a big ask of anyone we may want to get in so we have to make sure that (a) the player is available and (b) what we are bringing into the football club.’

Whilst money is of course tight, and the difficulty of attracting any top-class players to a relegation candidate is obvious, it is always a gamble bringing in lower division players.

The last few attempts Bruce has made at signing lower division strikers have not come off as well as he would have liked – Robbie Blake left after just half a season, whilst Clinton Morrison rarely showed the goalscoring prowess he demonstrates in a lower division.