Race to sign Chris Wood hots up after double
Sought after All Whites striker Chris Wood has continued his goal-scoring form in English football's second-tier Championship with a double for Millwall away at Brighton overnight impressing both bosses.
The 21-year-old, who was loaned out to the south London club by Premiership outfit West Bromwich Albion in September, increased his goal tally to 10 in 18 appearances for the Lions - a return that has already convinced manager Kenny Jackett to break the club's transfer record to sign the Hamiltonian during next month's transfer window.
Wood's double was eventually cancelled out by Kazanga LuaLua and an 87th minute David Lopez penalty but Millwall sit handily in seventh before the promotion race intensifies.
Jackett is ready to fork out 1 million pounds ($NZ1.93m) to make Wood's move permanent, but Brighton counterpart Gus Poyet is also keen for the 2010 World Cup forward to return to the south coast and the club he played 31 games for on loan in 2010-11.
Leicester, another Championship title contender, are also expected to make a bid for Wood.
He opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a glancing blow to a Shane Lowry cross and doubled the lead before the hour mark when he curled the ball beautifully past Tomasz Kuszczak into the top corner from 25 yards.
Before the match Jackett told talksport.co.uk he wanted to break Millwall's 23-year-old transfer record to prise Wood from the Hawthorn.
"We like Chris - he has done very well for us," Jackett said.
"I think he has had two very good experienced partners alongside him in Darius Henderson and Andy Keogh, but he is a player we would definitely like to pursue once his loan expires.
"Would that be a permanent deal? Yes. We will have to see what January brings, but it is no secret that we like Chris and we would like to keep him here."
Wood has been with West Brom since 2009 but has spent most of that time on loan at Championship clubs - enjoying spells with Barnsley, Brighton and Hove Albion, Birmingham City, Bristol City and now Millwall.