Grant McCann unable to tempt Leo Da Silva Lopes to stay at Hull City

Hull's Leo Da Silva Lopes. Picture: Tony JohnsonHull's Leo Da Silva Lopes. Picture: Tony Johnson
Hull's Leo Da Silva Lopes. Picture: Tony Johnson
Grant McCann admitted that he was unable to change Leo Da Silva Lopes’s mind once the midfielder decided that he wanted out of Hull City, despite their close personal relationship.

The 21-year-old travelled to Belgium on Thursday to finalise a four-year contract with Cercle Brugge after the Tigers accepted an undisclosed bid reportedly worth in the region of £1.5m.

McCann has known Lopes since the latter was 14 and was instrumental in his rise from Peterborough United’s academy to their first-team squad.

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The Northern Irishman invested £400,000 of City’s cash to secure the youngster’s services last summer and recently described him as “almost like a fourth son to me”.

But, when asked if he thought the nature of his relationship with Lopes would have enabled him to persuade him to stay put, McCann replied: “No, because he’s got an agent who he is very close to also, so that’s where we are.

“In Leo’s case, he made it very clear that he wanted to leave the football club after the [2019/20] season had finished.”

Lopes follows fellow central-midfielders Jackson Irvine, Kevin Stewart and Jon Toral out of the club, and although City have already added Richie Smallwood and Greg Docherty to their ranks, it is anticipated that they will now step up their pursuit of Rochdale’s Ollie Rathbone.

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McCann has refused to be drawn on specifics as far as his transfer targets are concerned. He did reveal that he is still in the market for “two or three bodies”, but went on to say that “I’m not going to get drawn into talking about anyone else’s players.”

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