AFC Wimbledon boss Mark Robinson says he hopes Derby County target Joe Pigott decides to stay on as the striker’s contract is set to expire this summer, South London Press report.
The 27-year-old is out of contract with the League One club at the end of the season.
Pigott’s form for AFC Wimbledon over the past 12 months has attracted plenty of interest from the Championship as a host of clubs eye a potential bargain deal.
TEAMtalk say 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.
Robinson, however, hasn’t given up hope of retaining the talented striker but told reporters ahead of the weekend how he wouldn’t stand in Pigott’s way should he seek a move.
“I’d like to think Joe can see what we’re building. I would never stand in the way of a player bettering himself, but I think what we’re building here is really, really exciting. [After the Super League fiasco] People need to start playing for values and what clubs and fans stand for. I think Joe will see that and what we’re going to try and create here. I hope there’s every chance of keeping him, because he’s very important to what the club wants to do,” Robinson explained.
Pigott has scored 20 goals for the Dons this season, despite their struggles.
At 27, he is approaching his peak and the former Cambridge United man may feel the time is right to test his hand at Championship level.
Derby will surely make a new striker a top priority this summer, regardless of whether they manage to preserve their Championship status or drop into League One.
The Rams’ leading scorer this season is Colin Kazim-Richards with just seven goals.
Wayne Rooney’s side are the lowest scorers in the Championship. The failure to replace Chris Martin was evident, while Martyn Waghorn’s contract expires this summer.
Also see: Three former Derby targets who could play key role in relegating the Rams to League One
Also see: £2m striker Derby wanted to sign could make first Blues start at Pride Park this weekend