Northampton boss Ian Sampson has admitted he was keen to lure Port Vale striker Marc Richards back to Town this summer.
Sampson was a team-mate of Richards during his spell with the Cobblers which ended in 2005 and remains a fan of the Vale captain ahead of the meeting of the sides this weekend.
Sampson said: "He was a fantastic prospect when we had him here and he has matured into an even better player.
"He is certainly someone I would have liked back at the club if it was possible.
"There were one or two sniffs at the beginning of the season but he is local to Port Vale and it didn't happen."