Newport County manager Graham Coughlan has dismissed suggestions that their talisman Omar Bogle is leaving the club.
The 29-year-old did not feature for the Exiles in pre-season defeats to Sheffield FC and Swansea City, prompting internet speculation over his future in South Wales.
But as South Wales Argus reports, Bogle has been nursing an injury with County playing it safe ahead of their League Two campaign.
It is positive news in an otherwise difficult summer, having seen key figures in Cam Norman, Priestley Farquharson, Mickey Demetriou, and Aaron Lewis depart, coupled with the announcement that the club lost £1.2 million in the 2020/21 season.
Supporters will be buoyed by the news that Bogle, who scored 19 goals in all competitions for the Welsh side last season, is set to remain at Rodney Parade.
Coughlan has further boosted his front line with the loan signing of Seb Palmer-Houlden from Bristol City, with the 48-year-old delighted to have added depth in a position where it was previously lacking.
Manchester United youngster Charlie McNeill is rumoured to be eyeing up a loan move to League One this summer, having spent the second-half of last season playing in front of the Amber Army.
The 19-year-old could be swayed to drop down the divisions once again if assurances over game time cannot be met, and the Dublin-born boss is keen to bring the starlet back across the border.
Remaining at Rodney Parade
Not only will Omar Bogle remain at Rodney Parade, but Newport themselves have signed a new short-term deal for a lease at the near 8,000 capacity stadium.
The Exiles’ previous 10-year lease expired in June, and work is underway to secure a longer tenancy for the ground currently owned by the Welsh Rugby Union.
There is an added incentive to get a deal in place, as the Football League will require clubs to have a 10-year lease on home grounds from 2025-26.
Dragons RFC, who currently share the stadium with Newport, will soon take over ownership from Wales RFU.
What’s been said?
“We were lacking in that position (forward), so I’m glad we can bring Seb in to help fill it,” said Coughlan on Thursday.
“We hope to have Omar Bogle back in training this week and then between him and Kiban [Rai], they’ll battle it out as to who will best partner Omar.”
Newport County will face an uphill battle once again this season, with Coughlan working under one of the smallest budgets in the division. The club have brought in free agents and used the loan market so far this summer, as they bid to return to a ‘neutral budget’ by 2024.
If they are to have any kind of success, it is imperative that they retain the services of the former Grimsby, Cardiff, and Hartlepool forward, and ensure they are smart with their recruitment this window.