Here’s a round-up of this week’s transfer lines in the always tumultuous world of Hull City AFC.
Radio Humberside’s David Burns sparked debate and mass misery on Twitter by suggesting City have a transfer budget of around £18m. Given that very average players are going for £15m these days (*cough* Jordan Ibe *cough*) and we need at least 3-4 signings, that doesn’t sound like an awful lot of money.
I don’t mind how much or how little City spend. I’ve said after every promotion that if we just want to pocket the money, have a go and accept that we’re likely to be relegated, ala Burnley, then it’s OK by me. I think Steve Bruce would seriously disagree though.
The arrival of our local media in Portugal for the clubs training camp (they were allowed two days’ access) meant we finally heard from Steve Bruce on a range of issues from his future to the vacant England manager’s job to transfers. Bruce appeared to confirm David Burns’ thoughts on the transfer funds available when he told the club’s in-house media "It's going to be very difficult with our budget to compete".
Bruce then revealed that his budget is going to be stretched massively as Allan McGregor (Back) and Alex Bruce (Achilles) have injuries that require surgery and will keep them out for between 4-6 months.
In a very good interview you can find on Matt Dean’s Facebook page, Bruce went on to answer questions on specific transfer targets. Bruce confirmed a liking for Spurs’ Ryan Mason but said he’s not made any approach yet. He said that free-agent Hal Robson-Kanu is a definite target and he has a meeting arranged with his advisors. The manager seemed frustrated that Lamine Sane’s name had been leaked, perhaps at the Bordeaux end, but confirmed his interest. He also revealed that he’d tried to sign Papy Djilobodji before he joined Chelsea and thus retained an interest.
Bruce seemed frustrated throughout the interview and answered questions about the club’s future and the budget he’s been set with “You’ll have to Ask Ehab”. That was also his response when he revealed that former City loanee Nick Powell was likely to join Wolves despite City offering him a contract. Bruce hinted that his Vice-Chairman had messed this one up. Bruce clearly believes he's bullet-proof at City or he just doesn't care. Either way, he's a brave man publicly calling out an Allam.
A report in The Sun says Brighton and Israel midfielder Beram Kayal has just a year left on his contract and Hull City are set to tempt the Seagulls with a £1.5m bid. This didn’t come up in the interviews with Bruce so it seems unlikely that there’s anything in it. That will be a shame because Kayal is a good box-to-box midfielder who’ll add bite to a midfield.
Isaac Hayden joined Newcastle on a permanent deal from Arsenal. The fee was undisclosed but I’ve heard it’s £2.5m up front and potentially £4m with add-ons. Hayden’s a good young player and City clearly retained some interest in bringing him back to the KCOM Stadium but it’s a lot of money for a player who’ll only be “one for the future”.
Another rumoured City target Jeff Hendrick was the subject of a rejected £3m bid from Burnley according to the Telegraph. That is a very low bid for the Derby midfielder who impressed so much at the European Championship.
Former City youngster Sonny Bradley, now aged 24, joined Plymouth on a two year deal from League Two rivals Crawley.
Steve Bruce confirmed his interest in Hal Robson-Kanu yesterday. He’s a player I like a lot when he plays for Wales and I think he has more potential than he shows playing for Reading, generally out wide. He’s available for free and considering City are working on a tight budget, that makes him a no-brainer of a signing to give options up front. However, reports today suggest Chinese clubs, presumably having seen him in the Euros, are offering him £100k a week contracts. You hear “the game’s gone mad” comments weekly these days and it’s very appropriate here.
Nick Powell didn’t join Wolves, as suggested by Bruce, but instead signed for Wigan – a club he’s played for on loan previously. I don’t mind that City didn’t sign Powell because for all his obvious talent, he’s too often injured and has a questionable attitude. Our inability to sign a player ahead of Championship sides is quite worrying though.
City are in the market for a goalkeeper after Allan McGregor’s injury. One target rumoured earlier in the summer was Charlton’s Nick Pope. He was the subject of a £900k bid from Burnley according to The Mirror. The bid was knocked back. Pope would be a solid number two keeper but City already have one of those in Jakupovic. He’s not going to come here and be number one and despite his cult status – Jakupovic being promoted to number one is a frightening prospect.
Sticking with goalkeepers, Southend signed Mark Oxley from Hibs. It’s the second time Phil Brown has signed Oxley having brought him to City from Rotherham when he was 17-years-old for £150k. He’s never lived up to that early promise.
A quite day. Another ex-Tigers youngster was on the move though. Jonathon Margetts signed for Lincoln City after leaving Tranmere.
The Sun claim City are about to make a £6m bid for Cardiff and Scotland ‘keeper David Marshall. He’d be a very good signing but that would use up a big chunk of our budget. That would sicken Steve Bruce who didn’t even have a goalie on his list a week ago.
The Hull Daily Mail suggest City are closer to a deal for Hal Robson-Kanu after productive talks with his representatives.
City opened pre-season at Grimsby and, within five minutes, Moses Odubajo suffered a potentially serious injury. The squad is already paper-thin so having to buy a right-back would be another problem Steve Bruce could live without. You can read all about the game here.
One way The Tigers could stretch their small budget is clever use of the loan market. I believe that’s an area they are looking into ambitiously.