One of Leonid Slutsky’s first challenges as manager of Hull City will be to keep Tom Huddlestone away from the clutches of Premier League clubs.
Huddlestone has a release clause in his contract which allows him to leave the KC Stadium for just £2million, following the Tigers relegation from the top-flight last season.
Such a price is sure to be an attractive proposition for teams in the Premier League, given that he has already proved he is more than capable amongst the elite.
Huddlestone has played 242 times in English football’s top division, the majority of which came during an eight-year stint whilst at Tottenham Hotspur prior to his move to Hull.
It has already been reported that West Bromwich Albion are prepared to offer him an instant return to the Premier League, as Tony Pulis looks to further improve his squad.
The Baggies boss has been told he has cash to spend during the summer as Albion look to build on last season’s 10th-place finish, and Huddlestone certainly represents value for money.
Slutsky, though, has not entirely given up hope of persuading the 30-year-old England international, who has four caps, to remain at the KC Stadium for their Championship campaign.
The former Russia coach could try and reach a compromise with the player, by which he wouldn’t stand in his way of a January exit if City aren’t near the top of the division.
Meanwhile, Slutsky has revealed his excitement at replacing Marco Silva as Hull head coach, and the 46-year-old is already counting down the days to the new season.
“I am delighted to become the head coach of Hull City and I am very much looking forward to the challenge of guiding the club back to the Premier League,” he said. “I already know that this is an important club with a big and loyal fan base. I’ve had a good feeling about it ever since meeting the Allam family and I can’t wait to get started next week.”