Hull City’s troubled pre-season saw them suffer another blow last night 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 £4.5m.
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 yesterday that Hull had turned down a £5m 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: ‘’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 of the Tigers.