McNulty said to be Mansfield-bound

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Mansfield Town look set to win the race for striker Marc McNulty, according to a Portsmouth newspaper.

Now released by Sheffield United, the striker had been on loan with Pompey, but a story in The News claims the Stags look favourites to sign him ahead of Portsmouth and fellow chasing clubs Bristol Rovers and Coventry City.

Stags are said to have been prepared to offer the greater financial package, in addition to regular first-team football which could be enough to lure McNulty into League Two following his release from Sheffield United.

The 24-year-old finished as Pompey’s leading scorer during a loan spell from the Blades in the 2015-16 campaign.

He has previously made no secret of his desire to return to Fratton Park in the future, having revelled in his time on the south coast.

Likewise, boss Paul Cook remains a fan of the striker, who has subsequently endured a frustrating season with Sheffield United and also during a Bradford loan spell.

He is desperate for the opportunity of regular action, which in turn throws up the question whether that can occur at Fratton Park in Cook’s favoured system.

McNulty registered only one goal this season – for Bradford against Southend in October 2016.

However, his stock remains high with those at Pompey, following a successful loan stint which contributed to reaching the play-off semi-finals in 2015/16.

The 24-year-old Edinburgh-born forward had previously played at Livingston before a move to Bramall Lane.