23 Dec Tigers trigger options
Hull boss Mike Phelan is hopeful winger Robert Snodgrass and five other key players will commit themselves to the club beyond their one-year contract extensions.
The Tigers have announced they have triggered one-year options on the contracts of Snodgrass, Michael Dawson, Andrew Robertson, Jake Livermore, Harry Maguire and Abel Hernandez.
All six players’ previous deals were due to expire in the summer and Snodgrass has so far refused to sign a new longer-term deal, sparking speculation the Scotland international could abandon the Tigers’ relegation fight during the January transfer window.
West Brom, West Ham and Newcastle have all been reported to be keen to prise Snodgrass away from the KCOM Stadium, but Phelan said talks were under way regarding longer-term contracts for all six players.
“What we’ve done with not just Robert, with a few of the players here, we’ve exercised the options that are in their contracts,” Phelan told a press conference before the home Boxing Day clash with Manchester City.
“We are ongoing in negotiations with those players and at this moment in time all those players are registered with this football club.
“That we hope to change. We hope to get them on the deals they deserve and we’ll keep working on it.”
Snodgrass apart, Phelan refused to be drawn on his own thoughts as to why the club had left it so long to resolve the futures of five key members of his squad.
“It’s not a concern,” he said. “We’ve spoken to all the players. Obviously some are forthcoming with their deals, but we’ve just sounded them out and had a chat with them as to what their positions are at the moment.
“They’ve all been pretty happy with those conversations. That’s my understanding.
“Obviously I’ve read things lately about certain individuals, but we’ll take care of those matters.
“We’ll have discussions. We’ll have face-to-face talks, but at this moment in time they’re all prepared to play and contribute for the rest of this season.”
Phelan could not rule out a rival club offering “a huge amount” to lure Snodgrass away in January, but did not appear resigned to losing one of his marquee players.
“I’d like to think all of them will commit,” Phelan added. “I don’t see why not.
“Obviously some are gaining momentum and gaining attention from elsewhere, purely because of their individual performances, that’s normal.
“But at this moment in time they are with us and hopefully we can keep them.”