Deadline looms as Hull look to tie down double signing

Tottenham Hotspur's Aaron Lennon.
Tottenham Hotspur's Aaron Lennon.
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HULL CITY face a race against time to add Lokomotiv Moscow’s £3m striker Dame N’Doye to the impending capture of Aaron Lennon before the transfer window slams shut on Monday night.

The Tigers, as predicted earlier this month in The Yorkshire Post, are on the verge of signing former Leeds United winger Lennon on loan with a view to a permanent deal.

However, despite a fee having been agreed with Lokomotiv for N’Doye late Thrusday night, a deal is still to be concluded due to the logistical nightmare of the striker having, until recently, been competing in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Senegal’s exit should now help but with personal terms also yet to be agreed for a player who is out of contract in the summer and therefore able to command a big salary, a deal is far from done.

Despite that, Bruce remains hopeful of adding to his attacking armoury before 11pm on Monday.

The Tigers chief, who wants former Manchester United team-mate Mike Phelan to be his new assistant, said: “We don’t see much of the Russian league but I have seen Senegal play. He has been a member of their team for the last couple of years and for years I’ve taken notice of that Senegal team.

“I think a lot of managers have taken notice of the African teams. Out of all the players who have been imported (into the English game), the African players have made a huge success of it. Physically they have all the attributes to play in the Premier League.”

Talks have been taking place with Tottenham over Lennon for 10 days. While declining to comment on specific targets, Bruce added: “I can see it going down to the line. We are not in for three, four or five. We are in for a couple.

“As I have said repeatedly, I would be perfectly happy with the squad I have got to go into the second half of the season if everyone remains fit. We have been dealt a bad hand in that respect, with the problems we have had.

“But we must try and get a couple of reinforcements.

“We must bring in players who are going to make a bit of difference. The two we are looking at would do that. I am convinced of that.”

Brighter news on the injury front for Bruce is City’s £17m strikeforce, Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez, have returned to training this week along with Andrew Robertson and Gaston Ramirez.

Alex Bruce could also be fit, while Mohamed Diame is about a month away from a return after knee problems.

Against Newcastle, the possibility of Jelavic and Hernandez being reunited up front is an appetising one.

Bruce added: “In an ideal world, I would have loved to let them train and play in a game behind closed doors and have another week if I am perfectly honest. But they have trained four times, both here and in Portugal. And we think they are going to be okay.

“The worst case scenario is that you rush them back and they break down so we’ve got to think about it. They do make a difference. If I took the two recognised strikers out of any team, you would have a struggle. They have played together only a handful of times.”