CURTIS DAVIES has experienced both sides of being a footballer during his two and a half years at Hull City.
On the upside, there was the immense pride of leading the Tigers out at Wembley ahead of the 2014 FA Cup final and playing a pivotal role in the East Riding club staying in the Premier League comfortably that same season.
Balancing out those highs, however, was last season when the London-born defender dropped so far down the pecking order as Hull slid to relegation that he seriously considered moving on.
This time around, Davies has forced his way back into the side but with just six months remaining on his current contract there is much uncertainty surrounding his future.
He is not alone in that respect, of course, with no less than eight of Steve Bruce’s senior squad having deals that run out next summer.
Talks are under way over possible extensions for the likes of Davies, David Meyler, Tom Huddlestone, Ahmed Elmohamady and Allan McGregor but with no one at the KC Stadium able to predict where the club will be come next season progress has been minimal.
“I would be happy to sign a new deal, of course I would,” said the 30-year-old when asked about his own position. “I am leaning towards staying. I have been here for three seasons and enjoyed my time, even if last season was indifferent.
“I love this football club. I enjoy being around the boys. So, when you are already inside a football club, you lean towards staying. But, obviously, it is about terms and what happens off the pitch.”
Davies’sz exclusion from the team in the final few months of last season understandably frustrated the defender, which is why assurances over his importance to Hull are forming part of the talks.
Now in his thirties, financial considerations also come into play – although he is keen to stress that football remains the bottom line.
“I am 31 at the end of the season and this might be the last big deal,” he added. “So, it is the last opportunity to make a stamp on the financial side of things. But there is more to it than that.
“Of course, you want to earn money. But you want to have confidence you will be playing, and make sure it is the right thing for you and your family.”
Davies was linked with a possible £3m move to Bournemouth last week but both the defender and Bruce insist there has been no contact with the Premier League outfit.
Likewise, a link between QPR and Tom Huddlestone in one national newspaper two days ago has been given short thrift by the Hull manager.
Bruce said: “I can honestly say I have had no direct calls. Why would we sell to QPR now? We have had no offers for anyone here. I am sure speculation will continue because it’s out there.”
As for the on-going contract talks with Davies, Huddlestone et al, Bruce added: “We can’t pay people what they are earning at this moment in the Championship next season if we don’t go up.
“That is the biggest problem we face. We want them to stay but when you are offered a contract, you usually get a pay rise. Or at least parity. When you are not, it causes you a problem. I think players understand where the club is.
“We have to adhere to financial fair play. The parachute payment goes down next year so we have to cut our cloth accordingly.”