Port Vale: Micky Adams to finally get his man as Valiants resurrect Lee Hughes deal
PORT Vale hope to give their promotion push a major goals boost today by signing veteran striker Lee Hughes.
The 36-year-old left Notts County by mutual consent yesterday afternoon and will finalise his switch to Vale Park this morning, subject to passing a medical.
He is expected to sign a contract until the end of the season, with a 12-month extension should Vale win promotion.
Once completed, it will seal a deal Vale manager Micky Adams had originally wanted done in November.
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Hughes had agreed to join the Valiants, but the deal stalled after the paperwork was submitted to the Football League three minutes after the loan deadline.
However, it seems Adams has got his man this time, and Hughes' arrival would make him Vale's third recruit since the transfer window reopened a week ago following short-term deals agreed for Chris Birchall and Darren Purse.
The Valiants' interest in Hughes has history, however, with then-boss John Rudge making an inquiry for the frontman in 1996.
But the move never took off as his then club, Kidderminster, were seeking £100,000.
Adams, who has been keen to introduce some older heads into his squad, was keeping quiet on the deal last night.
But as the Vale boss welcomed 35-year-old Purse to the club, he said: "We need experience in all areas. We've got a young squad, so experience when you're trying to get over that line in terms of promotion is vital.
"We won't leave ourselves short in that regard."
Purse joined in training at his new club for the first time yesterday and is in the frame to make his debut when second-placed Vale visit leaders Gillingham on Saturday.
"I'm not sure how much fitness work Darren has done recently, but we'll look if he's in the right shape for Saturday," added Adams.
Purse, who had left League Two strugglers Plymouth Argyle by mutual consent, said Adams had also been keen to sign him earlier this season.
He added: "You look at the table and the way things have gone this season, and it was a no-brainer to join.
"Plymouth wanted to get me off their wage bill and this was a deal we tried to get done in November. We couldn't do it then, so to get it done early in January is great.
"I've swapped a relegation battle to be in a team pushing for promotion and I can't wait to get playing."
It is understood Vale's transfer window shopping spree is not over, with the latest speculation linking them with a move for Cardiff City striker Robert Earnshaw.
The 31-year-old has left Maccabi Tel Aviv, where he was on a season-long loan, and is back training with the Bluebirds.
Adams also revealed he expects one or two departures from Vale Park this week.
Defender Gareth Owen, who has only started one game this season, is a prime candidate to leave, especially after the arrival of Purse.
Adams also admitted he is in talks with Liam Chilvers' agent, confident he can negotiate an extension to the defender's contract until the summer.
However, the manager said: "Gareth is fully fit and available. Everybody that has got a number and we employ and pay wages to is a first team player as far as we concerned.
"Gareth falls into that bracket at this moment."