Transfer gossip (Thurs, July 14): Hands off says Tigers chief; Boro deal close; Owls eye defender; Leeds plan more moves

TOP striker Abel Hernandez is wanted by Italian clubs but Hull City manager Steve Bruce is determined to keep him as they return to the Premier League.

Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.

Hernandez missed Hull’s pre-season summer camp in Portugal after the forward was involved in Uruguay’s Copa America squad last month but will return to training next week.

Hull’s player of the season scored 22 goals last season as the Tigers battled their way back to the top-flight via the play-offs and his goals have seen him linked with Serie A sides Fiorentina and Sampdoria.

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Bruce signed Hernandez from Palermo for £10m two years ago and is aiming to bring in two new strikers to give him extra support.

“Why would I want to sell Abel? We all know that money talks and if it’s huge then it could be out of my hands, but as far as I’m concerned we’re not selling Abel or anybody,” said Bruce.

Right-back Antonio Barragán’s £3m transfer to Middlesbrough is close to being completed.

The 29-year-old is ready to join Aitor Karanka at the Premier League club on a three-year contract.

Boro officials have been in Valencia this week and a deal is practically sorted for a player who has been with the Spanish club since 2011 and who had a contract until 2017.

Boro remain keen on Álvaro Negredo and EL Levante say he could go on loan for a year with a view to an £8m transfer. Wages could be the big stumbling block but further talks are planned next week.

Chelsea defender Tomas Kalas has joined Fulham on a season-long loan after spending last season at Middlesbrough.

Scotland international and Watford utility man Ikechi Anya is a target for Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal, who has a problem left-back position to fill.

Glasgow-born Anya has made over 125 appearances for Watford since joining from Granada in 2012, as well as 21 times for the Scottish national team.

The sale of Lewis Cook to Bournemouth, which could be worth up to £10m, will help Leeds United strengthen for a tilt at promotion from the Championship.

Head coach Garry Monk spoke to LUTV after the 2-1 friendly win over Shelbourne last night and said: “We are working very well together with the owner, and with Ben Mansford (chief executive).

“Of course the club understands that we need to strengthen the squad, but we are working well and we’ll get the right players through the door.”

Monk has already signed six players this summer, but are light in central defence and top propsect Charlie Taylor’s future at the club remains uncertain

Sheffield United have joined the race along with Nottingham Forest and Rotherham United in the signing of England Under-21 midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey, 22, who is surplus to requirements at Brighton & Hove Albion.