Bruce and Hull back in the hunt for new front man

After Burnley striker Charlie Austin failed a medical this week, it was back to a renewed search for a front man for Hull manager Steve Bruce.  The formalities were all but over only for the 24 year old to be prevented what would have been a dream move.

The £4.5 million move had to be called off and it has left the ex-Manchester United captain with a fresh headache as he endeavours to add to his newly promoted squad.

Speaking on Austin’s unfortunate situation, Bruce said when speaking to Sky Sports News:  “Well first and foremost it is totally disappointing for him in particular. We have been working on it for the last three or four weeks behind the scenes but unfortunately he has a bit of a knee problem and with the amount of money at stake in the transfer fee the problem has shown up pretty visibly with the scan and unfortunately that has put a stop to the deal.

“So it is disappointing, very disappointing, and I have to say on behalf of us all particularly disappointing for Charlie the boy.”

But Bruce was pragmatic also, saying:  “It is totally frustrating, but one thing you have got to do and where football is now the sport science and medical department is now bigger than it’s ever been and rightly so with the amounts of money that is being thrown about.  But obviously there is a problem there and a problem which we didn’t think we could mend quickly and we have decided to put a halt to it.”

Bruce recognised the need to begin immediately looking for a new striker: “It’s no secret we need a striker and we possibly need a couple of them and that’s been the aim since we finished the season. That is still on the agenda.”

With that Hull could renew their interest in Glasgow Celtic striker Gary Hooper despite having had an initial bid rejected.  A £4 million offer was turned down from the Scottish champions in early June with Neil Lennon feeling a more realistic valuation being in the region of £7million.

Swansea City striker Luke Moore has also been previously mooted as a possible target for Hull, the ex-Villa man would be in Bruce’s price range.  Kevin Doyle of Wolverhampton Wanderers would be another viable option.  Proven at the top level, the Republic of Ireland international might have played beneath his best last season but still has the potential, especially under a motivator like Bruce, to produce the goods once again at the top level.

What is for sure is with the dramatic collapse of Austin’s move, Bruce and Hull will have to move quickly and smartly if they want to have a new striker in place for the start of the new season.


Brian is a sports journalist with over 5 years experience of writing on all things soccer. Resides in Dublin, Ireland.