Hull City: Ghilas wants end to Tigers nightmare
KAMEL Ghilas will tell Hull City he wants to quit the KC Stadium for good this summer with a permanent switch to French football.
A memorable campaign out on loan has seen the Tigers' forgotten man inspire French club Stade de Reims to promotion out of Ligue 2 and into the top flight.
Ghilas' 14 goals in 34 games have helped Reims end a 21-year absence from Ligue 1 and drawn interest from a host of suitors on the continent.
The Algerian still has another year to run on the four-year deal he signed in August 2009 when completing a £1.8m transfer from Celta Vigo, but he has already made it clear he would prefer to find a fresh start ahead of next season.
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Ghilas' wages will be the obvious stumbling block should City agree to the player's wishes.
Although he has drawn his admirers with a successful season in the French second tier, any move would again need to be heavily subsidised by the Tigers.
The Mail understands a season-long loan at Stade de Reims saw only £4,000 of his £16,000 weekly wage covered by the French club and a similar deal was in place when Ghilas spent the 2010-11 season with Arles Avignon.
The figures involved essentially override any market value attached to Ghilas and any permanent switch away from East Yorkshire would see City forego a transfer fee.
Ghilas' profitable season has at least strengthened the Tigers' hand should they choose to cut their losses, and the player admits he is unable to predict where his future will lie.
"I feel good here," said Ghilas. "The people are perfect and I feel very integrated into the club.
"My first wish is to stay, but I still have another year of contract in England and Hull has to decide.
"I know there are other French clubs interested in me, but I cannot make a decision at this moment."
Ghilas has not featured in a competitive City fixture since January 2010, when he was a second-half substitute in the 4-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester United.
The 28-year-old can boast just eight starts for the Tigers during his three-year association with the club and managed just one goal when scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory over Bolton.
Despite featuring in pre-season friendlies in each of the last two campaigns under former boss Nigel Pearson, the decision was eventually made to send him on loan to French football.
Ghilas' lightweight frame was deemed unsuitable for the demands of the Championship by Pearson and although Nick Barmby's successor will have the final word, it appears unlikely he will be back at the KC.
Stade de Reims will head up the queue for his services after he helped end two decades in the wilderness for the former French giants, scoring his 14th goal as they won 2-0 at Amiens on Friday.