North-East reporter Ian Murtagh is backing Hull City to finally buckle and sell Jarrod Bowen on deadline day – believing Bruce could yet get his man for as little as “£10-£12m” on January 31st.
While there’s belief that Hull have an option to extend his deal by a further year, Murtagh insists that the Tigers are at serious risk of losing him on a free this summer – so is backing them to cash in while they can next week.
He admits they’re currently demanding £20m – a fee we and many others aren’t willing to pay – but believes Hull are playing a game of brinkmanship and will accept a lower fee if he’s still with them late in the window.
“I think this one is going to go to the wire.
“I think Hull and would be buyers are playing a game of brinkmanship here.
“This is a player who is going to be going for a lot less when his contract runs out in the summer. He’s going to be going on a bossman.
“So what you’ve got is, any self respecting managing director – and we’re not bringing the Ashley policy in here, we’re talking any Premier League club however ambitious they are – would a manager be allowed to splash out £20m on a player who would be available for next to nothing within 6 months?”
“On the other hand, a club like Hull – who’ve now been out of the Premier League for a few seasons – will they risk a player going for next to nothing in six months time when they could get money now?”
“So, they (Hull) are talking about £20m, but Newcastle and other clubs – I think West Ham being one of them and Everton maybe – are saying, ‘we’re not paying £20m’ and they’re looking at £10m-£12m.”
“I suspect he will go for between £10-£12m on January 31st.
“I think there will be movement there.
“I certainly don’t think any club desperate for him can afford to wait until the summer, because I think that will be too late..”
The key factor that remains unclear here is Bowen’s contract situation.
Murtagh seems adamant that Hull will lose him on a free this summer if he’s not sold this month, however it’s been widely reported that they have an option to extend his current deal by a further 12 months.
That said, if they have that option, why hasn’t it been activated yet – especially when such a clause would surely only boost his value and quell rumours on his future if exercised?
We need a goal scorer, he ticks Ashley’s boxes when it comes to his buying policy and he’s said to be Bruce’s ‘top target’. Could this one go to the wire?