Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Long having medical at Hull

Shane Long is closing in on his switch to Hull

West Brom striker Shane Long is edging closer to joining Nikica Jelavic at Hull after undergoing a medical at the club.

After a relatively prudent summer recruitment drive, Tigers boss Steve Bruce has moved emphatically to add to his squad's firepower, with Jelavic's club-record signing confirmed on Wednesday and Long set to follow after terms were agreed with the Baggies.

The fees attached to both players could rise past £7million, each breaking the £5.25million club record that brought Tom Huddlestone to the KC Stadium last summer.

"He (Long) is having a medical as we speak. You're never 100 per cent sure but we would hope if he has gone for a second lot of scans, we're as close as we can be," Bruce said.

"We've got everything in place, so we just need him to sign and that is that.

"Discussions on personal terms are ongoing. We think we're close in that department, too.

"Hopefully the medical is all right, hopefully personal terms are agreed and we have something for you tonight or tomorrow morning."

Bruce's priority in the transfer window was to increase his side's goal threat, with his current batch of strikers far from prolific.

On-loan Sunderland man Danny Graham has found the net just once, as has the injured Sone Aluko, with summer recruit Yannick Sagbo netting twice.

Despite being on the lookout, Bruce was surprised at the quality of player he has been able to bring to the club.

"It's been no secret that even last year we got promoted with a top scorer on nine goals," he said.

"It's always been something that if and when the right person became available, could we get them? With the start we've had we've been able to get someone in Jelavic who 12 months ago wouldn't have been possible.

"We've got players who are willing to do all sorts but not really be a goalscorer, so when the chance came to get him we've acted.

"Thankfully he has chosen us after a few long discussions, I have to say. It's an excellent signing for us.

"As I've said repeatedly in January good players don't become available that often."

Jelavic, who was unveiled at the KC Stadium on Thursday and goes straight into the squad for Saturday's match at Norwich, has vowed to repay Bruce's faith.

Having struggled for game time at Everton in recent months, and without a league goal this term, he needs to find his form to seal his place in Croatia's World Cup squad.

"I'm under pressure straight away. But I'm a striker, I need goals and I will score goals, I know that," he said.

"I just need some games. It's a decent club and I think I can help the team. I'm delighted to sign here.

"My move from Everton to here was because of the national team as well. This summer is the World Cup and I have to play if I want to be involved with the team.

"I'll try to score as many goals as I can and show to the national team manager that he can count on me."

The arrival of Jelavic and pursuit of Long spell the end of Egyptian forward Gedo's time at Hull, with the club confirming that his season-long loan from Al Ahly had been cut short.

Aaron McLean's expected transfer to Sky Bet League One side Bradford has also been concluded on a busy day for the Tigers..

Despite being the bearer of good news on the transfer front, Bruce was also forced to confront a familiar source of ill-feeling after owner Assem Allam again angered fans this week by pledging to walk away if his controversial 'Hull Tigers' rebranding plan is not approved by the Football Association.

For the manager, though, the Egyptian businessman has proved his commitment with actions rather than words.

"I've sat here and unfortunately we've talked about this before. It's disappointing in the week where we should all be hailing the chairman and the work he's done that we're talking about something that will hopefully go away," he said.

"I don't think it will for the time being but hopefully it will. For all his doubters I think this week has proved what the club actually means to him. He doesn't have to make any more statements than what he has just done.

"The most important thing for me is the two players we are bringing in to wear the shirt, who will significantly add to the squad and make us better and bigger and hopefully keep us in this division for the next few years at least."

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