Hull City manager Steve Bruce delighted at Sone Aluko deal
STEVE Bruce believes Sone Aluko has all the potential to set the Championship alight with Hull City.
As first revealed on our website yesterday, Aluko underwent a medical with the Tigers yesterday after agreeing terms on a two-year contract.
It is understood City have fought off competition from across Europe to land the 23-year-old, who is available on a free transfer following the demise of Glasgow Rangers.
Bruce is no stranger to Aluko and witnessed the forward's first steps in senior football as manager of Birmingham City.
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A reunion is now on the cards and Bruce believes there is plenty more to come from Aluko.
"Sone is someone I've always kept an eye on," Bruce told the Mail.
"I had him as a kid at Birmingham when he was considered to be the next superstar. I can remember taking him on tour at 16.
"It took him a while to develop. Some players mature quickly and others take their time to settle into senior football.
"But he's worked hard on his game and he's really come on in Scotland in the last couple of years. He really shot to prominence last year, he took it by storm.
"He's still a young lad at 23 and I'm sure he's still got plenty of scope for improvement in the coming years."
After initially holding talks on Tuesday, City will hope to conclude a move for Aluko over the weekend. The only complication may be a legal one, with the SFA refusing to issue registrations for those players unwilling to transfer contracts to a newco Rangers.
Rangers, who have been forced to reform in the Scottish Division Three after a financial meltdown, are seeking compensation for their former stars, including Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker, Kyle Lafferty, Jamie Ness and Steve Davies, who have all signed for new clubs.
It appears to be a forlorn hope for the fallen Glasgow giants and City are confident the deal will remain a free transfer. Aluko has been in demand since signalling his intention to walk away from Ibrox, but a history with Bruce is understood to have swayed him.
Bruce handed Aluko a first-team debut as an 18-year-old in August 2007 before his exit as Blues boss.
The Londoner moved on to Aberdeen and then Rangers in November last year to announce himself as a star of the SPL, where he bagged 12 goals in 19 league starts under Ally McCoist.
Bruce is an admirer of Aluko's versatility and said: "He can play across the front positions, whether it's through the middle or on either flank. He's quick, direct and he's a very good finisher too."
City, who drew 0-0 at Grimsby Town last night, will hope to be in a position to announce a deal for Aluko next week.
A HULL City XI will travel to face Bridlington Town this afternoon (3pm) for the first of the development squad's pre-season friendlies. Admission will be £6 for adults and £3 for concessions.