STEVE BRUCE last night revealed Hull City’s interest in Jermain Defoe, but fears a deal for the former England striker could be “too expensive”.
The 32-year-old is believed to be looking for a return to England after a move to Toronto in the Major Soccer League turned sour.
Leicester City and Queens Park Rangers tried to sign Defoe, who has three years left on his contract in Canada, during the summer transfer window but were left disappointed.
Rangers manager Harry Redknapp remains keen and Bruce, fresh from yesterday’s 2-0 triumph over Everton, admits the Tigers are also seriously interested. He said: “If you ask any club in the bottom half of the division whether they would like Jermain Defoe, I think we would all say ‘yes’.
“Whether or not we can do it financially is a problem. It might be too expensive. But if he becomes available, which I believe he is, then we would love to try and do something.”
Along with monitoring Defoe’s availability, Bruce will spend the next 48 hours assessing the fitness of his squad ahead of the FA Cup trip to Arsenal.
Liam Rosenior (hamstring), Gaston Ramirez (groin) and Andrew Robertson (ankle) were all forced out of the Everton victory through injury to leave Hull short on numbers ahead of the re-run of last season’s Cup final in this year’s third round.
Despite those injuries, Bruce could feel satisfied by how his Tigers side started 2015.
“We took four months to get two wins,” said the 54-year-old, whose side also triumphed at Sunderland on Boxing Day, “but now we have got another two inside a week.
“To me, it could have been three wins (from Christmas and New Year) as we should have beaten Leicester in our last fixture. There is still a long way to go in the season but thanks to these wins we have caught a few.
There are eight or nine teams in it (the relegation scrap) now and we are in a far more healthy position than we were this time a week ago.”
Hull have moved to 15th – their highest standing since mid-November – and Bruce added: “Was it the most complete (performance of the season)? I thought we were good at Sunderland apart from the first 20 seconds but, yes, it was a good display. The only disappointing thing is that we have lost three or four players (to injury) through this ridiculous programme.”
Tom Huddlestone and Stephen Quinn are available after serving four and one-game bans respectively.