According to the BBC, reported Derby County target Joe Pigott will leave AFC Wimbledon next month after turning down their offer of a new contract at the club.

Pigott joined AFC Wimbledon in 2018 and has become a leader for the club.

The 27-year-old scored 22 goals in all competitions this season, including 20 in League One.

Milton Keynes Dons v AFC Wimbledon - Sky Bet League One
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Pigott’s excellent form has caught the eye of several Championship clubs.

TEAMtalk claim Derby, Bristol City, Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City are keen.

South London Press, meanwhile, claimed Wycombe Wanderers pushed hardest for his signature in January while Charlton Athletic were also in the frame for him.

AFC Wimbledon were desperate to retain him, but Pigott has since told the club’s official website how he plans to leave this summer and look for a new challenge.

“I’ve decided that I will be looking for a new challenge. It’s been an absolute privilege to play for this club as it represents exactly what the game is about – the fans. To help play a part in stabilising the club in League One has been a pleasure,” Pigott explained.

Derby must make a new striker a top priority this summer.

Colin Kazim-Richards turns 35 in August, while Lee Gregory has returned to Stoke City following his loan spell and Martyn Waghorn’s own deal at Pride Park expires next month.

Derby County v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
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The Rams were the lowest scorers in the Championship last season.

Manager Wayne Rooney has a big job on his hands and with finances limited, signing a player such as Pigott on a free transfer could turn out to be a smart move.

The former Maidstone United striker stands at 6ft. Aside from his goal scoring ability, Pigott can retain the ball, bring teammates into play and press from the front.

Also see: ‘Great news; Buzzing’: Some Millwall fans react to signing Derby player on a free

Also see: Forest reportedly want £500k midfielder, two years after Derby scouted him

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