Hull set to swoop for Ryan Bertrand and Morgan Amalfitano
As Hull City prepare to reinforce their squad to cope with added European commitments next season, Coral offer odds of 9/4 on The Tigers to be relegated in 2014/15.
Reports this morning suggest Steve Bruce is on the brink of securing swoops for Chelsea left back Ryan Bertrand and Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano, formerly on loan at West Brom.
The double deal would be a welcome boost for Manchester United legend Bruce, as he plans for how his tenacious Tigers will handle the dual rigours of Premier League football and the Europa League.
After an excellent 2013/14 campaign, which included the Humberside outfit competing in a thrilling FA Cup final, they will need to recruit extra bodies to avoid their exciting exploits on the continent from taking a toll on their domestic duties.
Although a 16th – place finish was more than most fans and pundits expected, the newly promoted Hull were still perilously close to the relegation zone on 37 points, and will be wary of second season syndrome.
Arriving in the north for a combined fee of £9.75m and with a considerable amount of top-flight experience between them, Bertrand and Amalfitano will be expected to slot straight into the side.
With 17 starts under his belt in an impressive stint for Aston Villa, Bertrand as a Chelsea youth product is somewhat of a rare breed in football. However, the talented defender may be unwilling to return to the south London club’s bench.
Amalfitano, meanwhile, also illustrated his pedigree in a loan deal from his French parent club to the Baggies in 2013/14, making 28 appearances and contributing four goals and three assists from his role on the right of midfield. In particular, the arrival of the French winger, who can also play in a more central attacking role, should lessen the burden on the likes of Ahmed Elmohamady, who featured in 44 games this season.
The news of these potential new signings could not arrive at a better time for Bruce, as long term target Sebastian Larsson has decided to extend his contract at current club Sunderland.