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Kieran Agard is understood to be a target for Gillingham manager Steve Evans

By Luke Cawdell

Gillingham are in the race to sign in-demand striker Kieran Agard.

The 29-year-old has been offered a new deal by MK Dons, having scored 22 goals to help them win promotion from League 2 last season.

He’s scored goals wherever he has been and was part of a successful Rotherham team under new Gills boss Steve Evans, scoring 26 goals in their promotion season from League 1 in 2014.

Gillingham’s Mark Byrne loses out to Kieran Agard during their game with MK Dons in 2017
Gillingham’s Mark Byrne loses out to Kieran Agard during their game with MK Dons in 2017

Evans is keen to add strikers to his squad, with Tom Eaves almost certain to leave, which means only Brandon Hanlan is left as an out-and-out front man.

Agard won’t be short of options but Evans knows the striker well and will hope to persuade him that the Gills are the team for him.

The Gills boss says he has spoken to two or three strikers and is in the mix for all of them.

Evans said: “I am always clear with players, I say ‘as soon as we are not in your thoughts, just tell us’. We might try and sign them in the future, they might want to sign for us in the future.

“We are certainly in the mix for the ones we have spoken to.”

Gillingham manager Steve Evans is in the market for strikers Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham manager Steve Evans is in the market for strikers Picture: Ady Kerry

Evans told a fans forum last week that he was looking at a striker involved in the Toulon Tournament, an international event for under-22 teams.

Brighton player Aaron Connolly has been heavily linked but Norwich youngster Adam Idah could also be in the frame. He struck twice from the penalty spot for Ireland in their recent game against China.

“There are three or four young strikers over there that in all honesty fit the bill,” said the Gills boss.

“Gone are the days when a manager puts his eggs in one basket. If I go to Paul Scally (the Gills chairman) with just one striker he’s going to turn around and say ‘well, you’re not very good if you only know one striker’. If he says no and it doesn’t happen, (do) we play with no strikers?”

Young players from the higher leagues are likely to be on loan deals but Evans will be cautious over the kind of arrangements on offer.

He said: “Sometimes they come with a mindset where they come to League 1 and it becomes a problem if they think they are too good. If someone thinks they are too good for something you become not good enough.

“It is always a balance, especially the younger ones, you need to sign the right type of character. The personal traits of the individual player and the parents and the club he has come from are massive.

“Some clubs now at the higher levels are putting punishment clauses in with a player and if you don’t play him you pay x-amount a week for him, but I won’t buy into that. I don’t think it is a clause we would agree with because I think players should play on merit.”

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