STEVE BRUCE will tell son Alex if Hull City plan to offer him a contract in the next couple of days after dropping a broad hint that he sees the defender as being part of the club’s plans for the new season.
The former Republic of Ireland international was released by Leeds United earlier this summer and has been training with the Tigers for the past two weeks.
Bruce junior, who was linked with a possible switch to LA Galaxy last season, is understood to have had a number of contract offers, including one from abroad.
But it seems the 27-year-old would prefer to remain in Yorkshire following two years at Elland Road and his availability seems timely for City, who will start the campaign without Jack Hobbs and Liam Rosenior through injury.
Asked by the Yorkshire Post if a deal to sign his son was imminent, the City manager said: “Alex is a distinct possibility. He has been here for a couple of weeks, and I have asked the staff and players about him.
“He has had two or three offers, including one very nice one from abroad last weekend. But he will be a dad in the next few weeks so I don’t think that suited him, though we will see.
“Alex can play in a few positions, has played 200-odd games in the Championship and is a good lad. It is difficult when it is your son but we have a problem with Hobbs and a problem with Rosenior.
“Alex is available and, for me, is a very, very good Bosman.
“I will weigh it up and make my mind up soon. It is unfair if I don’t. I have had the conversation with him and asked what he thinks. Typical Alex, he said he could do me a job. I am sure he can.”
Bruce has been busy since taking charge of the Tigers in early June with Nick Proschwitz having become the club’s marquee signing of the summer after arriving from SC Paderborn in a £2.6m deal.
Sone Aluko, who spent time with Bruce early in his career at Birmingham City, has also joined from Rangers after the Nigerian refused to transfer his registration to the new version of the Glasgow club.
Also on board ahead of the 2012-13 campaign are goalkeepers Ben Amos and Eldin Jakupovic, plus Abdoulaye Faye following the Senegalese defender’s arrival from West Ham United on a free transfer.
As welcome as the new faces have been, however, Bruce is quick to stress that he still wants to bring in further additions before the season gets under way with a home fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion on August 18. The Hull chief, who hopes to hold on to midfielder Robert Koren amid interest from Leicester City, said: “A couple of loan players (Robbie Brady and Josh King) left at the end of last season and we also needed a goalkeeper or two because we didn’t have one at the club.
“Then a few others left on the quiet – (Richard) Garcia, (Kamel) Ghilas and several others, probably about seven or eight in total.
“That left us thin on the ground and that has allowed us to bring in five already. I still think we need one or two, particularly in wide areas. At the moment, we have Cameron Stewart and that is about it.”
City’s recruitment work compares favourably with their Championship peers, which considering how close the club came to claiming a play-off place last season surely bodes well for the coming months.
To that end, Bruce, who earlier this month was linked with Sunderland winger Ahmed Elmohamady, has been delighted with the support he has received from City owners, Assem and Ehab Allam.
He added: “A manager’s job is to keep knocking on the door and asking the question (about new signings), that’s what we are employed for. Make no mistake, I’ll keep knocking on the door and keep striving to make us better.
“To be fair to the owners, they have said to come to see them and they will judge everyone on individual merits. And that is what they have done. We have been a little bit shrewd, too. The signing of Aluko is a good one. We have also brought in experience with Abdoulaye, plus a couple of goalkeepers on loan and a Bosman. So, we have been shrewd and sensible.”
City’s goal tally of 47 from 46 games was a major factor in why they finished eighth and just outside the play-offs.
It is why Bruce made the capture of Proschwitz and Aluko, who scored 17 and 12 goals for Paderborn and Rangers, respectively, last season, such a priority after taking the KC reins.
He added: “Hull didn’t score many but also didn’t let a lot in, which was possibly down to how they set up with one striker. It worked well because they finished eighth but you also look at the goals scored and there weren’t enough. In Proschwitz and Aluko, we have players who both scored goals last season.”