Hull City face fight to sign Robbie Brady from Manchester United
HULL City face a fight to bring loan star Robbie Brady back to the KC as Manchester United take time to weigh up the rookie's next move.
Brady returned to Old Trafford this week after playing the final game of his two-month loan spell in the Tigers' 0-0 draw at Blackpool on Tuesday.
Although City boss Steve Bruce was hopeful of seeing the 20-year-old quickly return either on loan until the end of the season or in a permanent switch, he is having to bide his time for an answer from Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Mail understands interest from a rival Championship club has muddied the waters to leave City anxiously awaiting a response from United.
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If the Premier League leaders choose to loan Brady out for a third time this month, the Tigers will be in pole position to retain his services for the remainder of the campaign. Should United prefer a sale, though, City may yet be vulnerable in an open market.
Brady is known to be hankering for a return to the KC but the final decision could well be out of his hands.
Retaining Brady's services has become a pressing priority for Bruce as he attempts to keep his promotion-chasing squad intact this month.
The Dubliner's form was excellent during eight consecutive starts for the Tigers and he added a natural balance to Bruce's tried and trusted 3-5-2 shape.
There was no fresh update on Brady's future last night but Bruce admitted talks between the clubs were ongoing.
He said: "We're still in discussions with Manchester United and hopeful we can get something done. We're certainly doing our utmost to bring Robbie back here."
City encountered no such problems in their pursuit of Brady's Republic of Ireland team-mate David Meyler and that deal is close to completion.
With a £1.5m deal agreed with Sunderland and personal terms encountering no problems, the final stage of the midfielder's medical was undertaken yesterday. He will not play any part in today's FA Cup clash with Leyton Orient but his permanent switch to the KC still appears to be a formality.
City's first piece of business in the January window was confirmed yesterday with Aaron Mclean joining Ipswich on loan for the rest of the season.
The 29-year-old striker, who has 18 months remaining on his deal, had looked set for a move to Millwall only for Mick McCarthy's side to step in and hijack the deal.
City's preference was to see Mclean join Ipswich rather than a promotion rival and he will look to win a long-term future at Portman Road over the next four months.
A January clear-out has also seen Jamie Devitt agree to rejoin Grimsby Town on loan until the end of the season, while Mark Cullen has been the subject of an enquiry from Stevenage.
Liam Cooper, who has enjoyed success out on loan with Chesterfield, could also be allowed to join the League Two Spireites on a permanent basis.