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Hull's troubled pre-season continues as Mohamed Diame completes Newcastle switch

Published 03/08/2016

Hull fans protested against chairman Assem Allam (pictured) towards the end of last season.
Hull fans protested against chairman Assem Allam (pictured) towards the end of last season.

Hull's troubled pre-season saw them suffer another blow on Wednesday as influential midfielder Mohamed Diame left the club for Newcastle.

The Tigers on Tuesday had offered Diame, scorer of the play-off final winner in May that secured their return to the Premier League, a new three-year deal amid reports Newcastle had met his buy-out clause of £4.5million.

But Hull's efforts proved fruitless as it was announced by both clubs the following day the Senegal international had opted to sign a contract of the same length with the Magpies, who were relegated from the top flight last term.

It was also reported on Wednesday that Hull had turned down a £5million bid from Middlesbrough for their defender Harry Maguire.

The east Yorkshire outfit are looking worryingly threadbare ahead of the new campaign, having sustained several serious injuries this summer and failed to add any signings to their first-team squad.

They are also without a manager after Steve Bruce departed on July 22 following a breakdown in his relationship with the club's owners the Allams.

On Tuesday the Football Association of Wales announced it had turned down an approach from Hull to speak to national team boss Chris Coleman, although subsequent reports have suggested the 46-year-old is interested in the vacancy.

Gianfranco Zola is also being heavily linked with the position, with reports in Italy on Monday saying the former Watford and West Ham manager, sacked by Qatari club Al-Arabi in June, had been the subject of an approach.

Former Hull defender Sam Ricketts feels the job is not ''big enough'' for Coleman, who guided Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 this summer after signing a new two-year contract.

Coventry's Ricketts - a Hull player between 2006 and 2009 and holder of 52 caps for Wales - told BBC Wales Sport on Wednesday: ''I can't see Hull being a big enough pull for Chris Coleman.

''I don't think Hull is the right job for Chris Coleman and I don't think it's a big enough job for him to leave what he's built at Wales.

''But...I do believe that if Chris Coleman really wanted to become manager of Hull City I think he could force it.''

While the wait for Bruce's successor to be named goes on, the squad are currently in Austria for pre-season friendlies against Caykur Rizespor and Torino, with former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan in caretaker charge.

Meanwhile, a group of Hull fans have announced plans for more protests against the club's owners, starting at next week's Premier League opener against Leicester.

Some supporters took part in protests against chairman Assem Allam towards the end of last term, holding up red cards in the stands.

And ahead of the lunchtime home clash with champions Leicester on August 13 - the match that kicks off the new Premier League season - a statement from the Hull City Supporters' Trust said: ''No communication, no manager, no engagement, no signings, no identity, no concessions, no honesty.

''The list goes on. You don't need us to tell you what a state Hull City is in at the moment.

''The owners are digging their heels in more than ever, discarding people at an alarming rate and pushing ahead with all of their ill-considered ideas with their usual arrogance and complete lack of interest in the damaging effects they will have.

''A lot of people have been talking about protests in recent weeks, particularly since the departure of Steve Bruce. It's clear that the desire to protest against the way that the club is being run by the Allams is stronger than ever before.

''So let's cut to the chase; it's happening again. We will be organising and coordinating protests over the coming weeks, starting with our season-opening home game against Leicester.

''We will be distributing cards to supporters outside the ground again, but they'll be slightly different to last time."

Hull have been up for sale since 2014 after the Football Association turned down the chairman's request to a change of name to Hull Tigers, and the club announced just prior to Bruce's departure that takeover talks had been shelved for this summer.

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