COULD Theo Robinson being removed from Port Vale's squad list pave the way for a potential return to Colchester United?

Robinson has been de-registered by Vale and taken off their squad list, to comply with EFL rules which cap squads to 22 players.

The League Two side signed another former U's striker, Kurtis Guthrie, last week.

That brought Vale's squad up to the maximum number of players over the age of 21, leading to Robinson being removed.

It is in accordance with EFL rules clubs voted through in the summer.

Port Vale interim boss Danny Pugh hinted that players could be leaving Vale, in this month's window.

He told the Stoke Sentinel: “If there are players outside of the squad who we don’t think are going to feature then, if the right offers came along, there could be chances for a couple to maybe move on.

“We are not exactly sure who at this moment in time but it is so difficult as we stand because it is so easy to lose a player, or two or three, with the Covid situation or injuries. So it is quite a difficult balance to make.”

Robinson joined Port Vale on a free transfer last summer, signing a two-year deal at Vale Park.

But the 31-year-old's opportunities have been few and far between, this season.

The former Southend United striker has made only five starts for Vale in League Two and 22 league and cup appearances in total, scoring four times.

John Askey had made Robinson available for transfer at the end of last month, prior to him leaving his position as manager soon after.

Colchester are on the hunt for a new forward, following the departure of Luke Norris earlier this month.

Robinson scored 12 goals while on loan with the U's, last season.

The well-travelled striker netted 11 times in 19 starts and nine substitute appearances in League Two, helping them reach the play-offs under John McGreal.

Colchester missed out on a move for their former striker Freddie Sears, last week.

U's head coach Steve Ball said: "We're in the market for a striker and possibly others.

"It's good to have the support of the recruitment staff at the club and get those guys pushing names forward and hopefully bring one in soon - that's the plan."