Here comes another round-up of all of the past week’s transfer stories involving Hull City.
The Tigers’ players return for pre-season testing on Monday ahead of a trip to Portugal for warm-weather training so it was always likely that things would start to get settled regarding the manager’s position and the out-of-contract players.
Sadly, the ownership remains the great unknown with rumours flying around and the situation seemingly changing on a daily basis. What we do know is, the Allams still own the club and while that’s the case – the atmosphere remains fractious.
In a story right out of left-field, AfricanFootball.com say The Tigers have “jumped to the head of the queue” to sign Nigerian striker Umar Aminu from Osmanlispor in Turkey. They add that Besiktas have had a bid rejected for the 21-year-old but fear he will struggle to get a work permit to play in England.
It’s hard to know how reliable some of these “specialist” websites are. For instance, the site focusing on Egyptian football, Kingfut, is very good but some of the Italian football sites tend to spout utter rubbish. Watch this space, I guess!
The Mirror claim City are interested in Augsburg striker Raul Bobadilla. The Argentina-born Paraguay international, 29, is a powerful striker who has been back and forth between clubs in Switzerland and Germany for most of the last decade. His scoring record isn’t great in the Bundesliga but he’ll help make opportunities for a natural finisher and at a rumours £5m – he’s a hell of a lot cheaper than domestic options!
According to the Daily Star five clubs have expressed an interest in loaning Manchester United striker James Wilson. The 20-year-old had a loan spell at Brighton last season and the Star say the promoted trio of The Tigers, Burnley and Middlesbrough plus relegated Aston Villa and their rivals Birmingham City want to take him this season.
The Telegraph ran a story online on Steve Bruce’s future, suggesting it remains undecided and any transfer business is on old amid speculation over that and the future of the club’s owners. A small line did suggest that once Bruce’s future is sorted, he’ll make Derby County and Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick a target. Hendrick impressed many with his performances at Euro 2016 though he is currently awaiting trial over a violent incident in Dublin when a man was left with a broken jaw after a confrontation with a group of men including Hendrick – allegedly.
According to the Derby Telegraph, Hendrick is also wanted by Middlesbrough and Galatasaray.
Steve Bruce has been touted as potential England manager since the national team crashed out of Euro 2016 to Iceland on Monday. With the threat of that hanging over him, Bruce today committed his future to City! The doubts over the ownership remain with the rumour-mill still suggesting American and Chinese investors are in talks with the Allams but Bruce will stay in spite of that according to a statement on the official website – the first statement of any note made by the club in weeks.
On the transfer front, “Steve Bruce” said “We plan to make improvements to our squad in the coming weeks and a transfer budget and wage structure has been set by the Board for the new campaign. It is simply not correct that I have been told I cannot sign any players as reported in the media this week. We are already looking at potential targets in order to strengthen the squad.”
City U21 skipper Max Clark will return to Cambridge United on loan for six months. The midfielder had a short spell under Shaun Derry last season and will now serve a longer stint on loan. Max has long been touted as a potential breakthrough star at the KCOM Stadium after being involved with the England youth sides as a 16 year-old left back and the move into midfield has stunted his progress somewhat. Now 20, this is a big opportunity for him to show off his always impressive appearances in the “reserves” in senior football.
You’ll notice a lot of loan deals going through in the next few weeks lasting until January. This is because the football league is no longer allowed to sanction “emergency loans” outside of transfer windows. Clubs have to manage with what they have on September 1st. Although free agents can be signed at any time as always.
After all of the speculation, we actually got a confirmed transfer today! First broken by ESPN in May, AFC Wimbledon goalkeeper Will Mannion, 18, joined City on a three-year deal. The fee will be decided by tribunal as the clubs were unable to agree a settlement.
Mannion’s arrival into the U21 setup at City allowed Rory Watson to complete a season-long loan move to new National League side North Ferriby United. This has been doing the rounds for a while so was clearly dependent on that Mannion deal.
There was more good news as Tom Huddlestone followed Eldin Jakupovic and Ahmed Elmohamady in signing a new contract with City – Tom will stay until 2018.
One player not joining City is released Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher who signed for Sheffield Wednesday. That’s an injury-prone bullet dodged.
Hatem Ben Arfa, who left City in disgrace after a disastrous loan spell from Newcastle in 2014, has transferred from Nice to PSG. Ben Arfa was a fat, lazy mess at Newcastle and wasn’t much better during his short time in Hull. His stint hardly got going and was doomed after he infamously covered less distance in a game at Old Trafford than Allan McGregor – who is, of course, a goalkeeper. He’s been re-born at Nice and had been linked with moves to Barcelona, Chelsea, Leicester and Southampton before deciding on Paris.
Another ex-Tiger, Danny East, was on the move today joining Leeds-based National League side Guiseley after his release by Grimsby. He’ll be joined there by North Ferriby’s best player last season Ash Palmer. A real blow for the Villagers.