Hull City: Barmby still hopeful Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone will stay at KC Stadium
HULL City boss Nick Barmby remains hopeful the visit of Nottingham Forest tomorrow will not prove to be Vito Mannone's KC Stadium swan song.
Mannone is nearing the end of his successful four-month loan spell from Arsenal and, as yet, no deal has been struck to bring him back next season.
Despite Mannone's interest in moving to East Yorkshire, City's apparent lack of financial muscle in the transfer market has thrown the deal into doubt.
However, Barmby is not yet willing to give up hope and intends to speak with Arsenal in the coming weeks.
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"We'll have to sit down in the summer and see what can be done," said Barmby.
"I can't dictate what Arsenal are going to say but I know he would like to come and play for us. That's a positive start for us because we want him, but it's not always that easy.
"I hope Saturday won't be his last home game, I really hope not. He has been fantastic for us in both loan spells. He loves the club and he's exactly the type of player that we want.
"He comes in day in and day out with a professional attitude. Those are the players that any manager wants."
With three years remaining on his Arsenal deal, a figure of around £1m may be needed to end Mannone's eight-year spell at the Gunners.
The recent admission of Adam Pearson, head of football operations, that the bulk of business will be done in the free transfer market would suggest that sum could be beyond the Tigers and ensures contingency plans are in place.
Eldin Jakupovic, who will be available on a free when leaving Greek side Aris this summer, has spent time on trial with the Tigers and is still in Barmby's thoughts. "Hopefully we can get that one over the line soon," Barmby said.