Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Bruce: Bendtner salary an issue

Nicklas Bendtner's wage demands could prevent him from joining Hull

Hull manager Steve Bruce would happily add an experienced striker to his squad before the end of the transfer window but admits he may be priced out a move for Nicklas Bendtner.

Bruce has already signed Danny Graham on loan from Swansea and Yannick Sagbo from Evian, but would still be interested should a proven scorer present themselves.

Arsenal fans may debate whether Bendtner falls into that category, but Bruce is a confirmed admirer having taken him on loan at Birmingham and Sunderland.

The Denmark international is likely to be available permanently now but his reported £50,000 a week pay packet means Bruce may not be able to do business.

"Everyone assumes (an interest in Bendtner) but the problem with Nic is can I afford him?" said Bruce.

"He has a huge salary. I've been able to get him on loan at my last two clubs. I know the lad, he has terrific ability but it's difficult with the amount of money he earns at the minute.

"For us to go and make a huge difference, to get a striker who can get 20 goals a year...where does a club like ours get them?

"They are few and far between and if they are capable of getting 20 goals a season they're usually too expensive.

"Can you get one in? It's always difficult but we're always trying. We're looking to get maybe one more in. That will prove difficult but we're working away."

Hull face Manchester City away in Saturday's early kick-off, having started the season with an equally tricky trip to Chelsea.

A 1-0 home success over Norwich in between has given them some respite, but Bruce is under no illusions about the size of the challenge awaiting at the Etihad Stadium - especially after Manuel Pellegrini's side were turned over by Cardiff last time out.

"We're expecting a backlash because that's what makes a really good player," he said.

"They will be desperately disappointed with how they lost that game. I didn't think they deserved to lose but Cardiff were terrific in that last 20 minutes.

"We've got to take the backlash of a big team and we have to be ready for that challenge.

"The big thing is to take part in the game and pose a few problems ourselves, if we can."

Hull go into the game on the back of an extra-time victory over Leyton Orient in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Pellegrini, if he was watching, will have learned little about the Tigers from that, though, with Bruce making 11 changes for the match.

That handed a chance to squad players to make an impression on the manager, but also showed the priorities he has placed on the various competitions this season, with survival in the Barclays Premier League clearly top of the shop.

"The match gave me a chance to look at the second string if you like, though I wouldn't want to call them that just yet," said Bruce.

"We take the cups seriously but if I'd have played one of my big hitters and he gets an injury, is out for two to three months, then that leaves you in a desperate situation.

"I see Cardiff lost their centre-forward (Andreas Cornelius) who they paid £8million for. We got through the cup tie, that was that, and we move on."

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