HULL CITY’S rebuilding job following relegation from the Premier League stepped up a gear last night as Ryan Taylor and Sam Clucas prepared to finalise their moves to the KC Stadium.
The Tigers had been the only club in the Championship still to make a signing until manager Steve Bruce’s efforts to strengthen finally paid off when free agent Taylor passed his medical with the club ahead of signing terms.
Clucas is set to follow suit after jetting out to join up with the Hull squad at a training camp in Austria. The winger was due to undergo a medical on arrival before completing the formalities on a £1.3m switch from Chesterfield.
His impending capture comes as Hull prepare to bid farewell to another wide player after agreeing a £7m fee with Norwich City for Robbie Brady.
The Republic of Ireland international had been the subject of at least one previous rejected offer from the Canaries before agreement was reached yesterday. Brady immediately travelled to East Anglia to undergo a medical and discuss terms over an instant return to the Premier League.
Bruce will be relieved to get a couple of deals finally over the line after having to be patient due to the Financial Fair Play rules under which all Championship clubs must operate.
Taylor, a utility player, was released by Newcastle United following a successful trial with the Tigers, while Clucas was prised away from the Spireites ahead of several other interested clubs.
In contrast to the Tigers, Sheffield Wednesday have had a busy window since it opened on July 1 with Charlton Athletic Rhoys Wiggins set to become the club’s ninth signing.
A fee of around £750,000 is understood to have been agreed for the 27-year-old and the Owls, who returned from a pre-season training camp in Portugal last night, hope to conclude a deal before tomorrow night’s friendly at Scunthorpe United.
Another Championship side busy in the transfer market yesterday were Middlesbrough, who completed the season-long loan capture of Italian international Diego Fabbrini from Watford.
The 24-year-old, whose international bow came against England in 2012, had travelled with the Boro squad to Saturday’s friendly at Doncaster Rovers.
Boro are also trying to push on their pursuit of Jordan Rhodes, the former Huddersfield Town striker, after lodging an £11m bid with Blackburn Rovers.
In League One, Bradford City’s pursuit of a central defender continues with manager Phil Parkinson having admitted interest in former Huddersfield Town Academy graduate Nathan Clarke.
The 31-year-old is still under contract at Leyton Orient for another 11 months, but he has already indicated a desire to return north to his family in Yorkshire.
Parkinson has held talks with Clarke, who is one of several defenders on the radar of a club who last month saw Andrew Davies leave to join Scottish club Ross County.
Kamil Zayatte is understood to have been one of those interesting Bradford, but the former Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City man joined Saudi Arabian first division club Al-Raed.
The Bantams are also in the market for a goalkeeper and at least one winger following last week’s blow of losing Filipe Morais for the season to a serious knee injury.
Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp, meanwhile, is determined to make it third time lucky after returning to the club where he started as an apprentice and made two appearances as a teenager.
The 29-year-old, who joined the Blades for a second time in 2007 and played another 51 times, switched from Leeds United over the weekend.
He said: “Last time I came, I had scored 56 goals in two seasons and was a 20-year-old who came for £2m.
“I should have scored more goals, but for me, I didn’t really play enough games.
“I can deal with that this time and I know what the club is about and I’m older and wiser and more experienced.”