Oxford United striker James Constable is next on Aidy Boothroyd’s shopping list after the Cobblers boss bagged ‘number one target’ Clive Platt.
Northampton are understood to be interested in the U’s hitman, but face stiff competition for his signature, which would come at a price as he is still under contact.
Constable was a key member of the side that got United promoted back to the Football League via the Blue Square Bet Premier play-offs in 2010, and since first moving to the club from Shrewsbury Town – initially on a season-long loan in 2008 – he has racked up 74 goals in 166 league appearances.
Former Cobblers player Marc Richards recently turned down an offer to return to the club, opting instead to sign for League Two rivals Chesterfield.
But Boothroyd has admitted that improving the front line is a priority for him over the summer.
Platt, 34, became his first striker acquisition on Friday, moving from Coventry City on a two-year contract.
That means that there are four strikers contracted to the club next season, although Lewis Wilson has played just three Football League games and Jake Robinson failed to score in 34 appearances last year.
Boothroyd rejected a bid for top scorer Akinfenwa in January, and although not actively shopping him around, he has conceded that the 30-year-old – with 18 goals last term – could be sold this summer if the price is right.
Platt’s signing could also have an impact on Akinfenwa’s future, with the new man arguably being more suited to playing the lone strike role in the 4-3-3/ 4-2-3-1 formation that Boothroyd employed last season.
However, Akinfenwa has previously enjoyed success at the Cobblers playing as part of a front two, alongside more of a‘target man’ type, having formed a useful partnership with Poul Hubertz when he first moved to Northampton in January 2008.
Platt’s signing undoubtedly strengthens Boothroyd’s attacking options, especially if Akinfenwa stays. Yet what role, if any, Robinson will play next season – along with the promising but inexperienced Wilson – may still have a bearing on plans.
One thing is for sure, Boothroyd will ideally want to trim the squad some more before making further additions, particularly with regards to players still under contract like Arron Davies and Paul Turnbull.