Transfer Gossip (July 16): Huddlestone on Hull City exit | Huddersfield Town to step up interest in Barnsley defeder | Sheffield United given hope in Leonard chase

Tom Huddlestone on why he left Hull City for Derby County (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Tom Huddlestone on why he left Hull City for Derby County (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
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Here are the latest rumours and done deals involving Yorkshire’s clubs

Tom Huddlestone has revealed why he left Hull City for Derby County in a £2m deal.

Sheffield United target Ryan Leonard, left, playing against the Blades (Picture: Sport Image)

Sheffield United target Ryan Leonard, left, playing against the Blades (Picture: Sport Image)

Huddlestone made 112 starts for Hull after being signed by then-manager Steve Bruce in a £5m deal in the summer of 2013.

But he returned to Derby County on Saturday night for a fee believed to be around £2m, before suggesting that he would have been happy to stay in East Yorkshire had the Tigers acted quickly enough.

“Once I got wind of the serious interest from Derby, it was a no brainer,” said Huddlestone.

“Once Derby activated [a buyout clause in Huddlestone’s contract], Hull decided to come with an offer then. If Hull had come with that maybe three weeks ago, before Derby were interested, I would have signed it happily and stayed there.”

Ehab Allam, the Tigers’ vice-chairman, issued a statement on the club’s website in response, in which he said: “We recently met with Tom’s representatives, prior to receiving the offer from Derby to discuss a new longer-term deal on improved terms.

“I feel this stated our intention to keep Tom at the club, but ultimately the decision to leave was down to Tom and his representatives.

“We would like to wish Tom well for the future, and thank him for his efforts.”

Cremonese of Serie B are the latest Italian club to be linked with Leeds United defender Guiseppe Bellusci, who has been told he can leave Elland Road.

Reported Leeds target Ollie Watkins of Exeter City, a 21-year-old striker, is expected to join the Whites’ Championship rivals Brentford.

Huddersfield Town are reportedly set to improve their bid for Barnsley full-back Andy Yiadom.

The Terriers initially bid £750,000 for Yiadom, an offer said to be derisory by Reds’ boss Paul Heckingbottom, whose club is looking for more like £2m.

Barnsley’s chief executive Gauthier Ganaye said: “Andy has one-year left on his contract and we are aiming to offer him a new deal.

“If Yiadom can be convinced to put pen to paper, even if the player doesn’t end up staying beyond August, it would strengthen the club’s hand in transfer negotiations.”

Meanwhile, Barnsley defender Cole Kpekawa is set for a move to Colchester United after failing to hold down a regular place following his move from QPR.

Sheffield United target Ryan Leonard has handed in a transfer request at Southend United, according to the Southend Echo.

Midfielder Leonard, 25, has one year left on his contract at Roots Hall and has already been the subject of bids by the Blades.

Stewart Downing, who has been told he can leave Middlesbrough, will hold talks with Birmingham City this week.

Blues boss Harry Redknapp said: “Stewart Downing is a proper player, got a great left foot, he’s fit as a fiddle.”

Former Lorient midfielder Issam Ben Khemis was one of three trialists to impress Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson in a friendly at Tadcaster on Saturday, according to the Doncaster Free Press.

Former Crystal Palace midfielder Reise Allassani and ex-Nottingham Forest youngster Charlie Jemson also played in the friendly.

“The French boy was a bonus. I thought he did more than enough to certainly have another look at him,” Ferguson told the Doncaster Free Press.