Hull City to offer Paul McShane new deal, regardless of whether they win promotion
PAUL McShane will be offered a contract extension to remain at the KC Stadium – regardless of the division Hull City find themselves in next season.
After two years in the City wilderness pointed towards an eventual parting this summer, the 27-year-old has enjoyed a stirring rebirth with the Tigers this term.
Twenty starts have established McShane as a firm fans' favourite and he will head to former loan club Brighton tonight as a regular fixture in Steve Bruce's three-man defence.
Like several first-team stars at the KC, including Jay Simpson, Seyi Olofinjana and Liam Rosenior, McShane will see his current deal expire this summer.
But with a nod to the defender's undeniable form, Bruce has vowed to offer the Republic of Ireland international a fresh contract once City's fate becomes clear.
"There will be a contract there for him certainly," Bruce told the Mail.
"Hopefully, that's in the big league but even if we don't I'm sure there will still be some sort of contract offer there for him in the Championship.
"He's shown how much he wants to play regular football here and he's not let anyone down."
The stumbling block standing between McShane and a new deal will be the terms he currently enjoys.
A permanent move from Sunderland in the summer of 2009 saw the defender sign a four-year deal worth a reported £18,000 a week and he would need to take a significant pay cut to remain in East Yorkshire, if the Tigers were to miss out on promotion.
"I've had a word with Paul already and he understands that it's a difficult situation," Bruce explained.
"He's still one of the high earners from the Premier League so you can't really start negotiations until you know what league we're going to be in. If we were to get in the Premier League next season then it's not a problem to give him the salary he's earning again.
"If we don't make it, then that salary is not something we'd be able to offer. I've explained all that to him and he understands."
Bruce's encouraging words are a measure of McShane's resurrection in the last six months.
Surplus to requirements in the majority of the last two seasons, loan spells with Barnsley and Crystal Palace offered the only opportunity for regular football.
A first City start for nine months came in the 3-2 loss to Blackpool in October and he has grasped the nettle to become an integral part of the Tigers' promotion bid.
His form has won acclaim on the terraces and he will assured of a warm reception when he returns to Brighton this evening.
As a 19-year-old McShane spent the 2005-06 season on loan with the Seagulls from Manchester United, winning the Player of the Year prize in his breakthrough campaign.
Much has changed for Brighton since their time at the Withdean Stadium and so too for McShane, according to Bruce.
"I'm so pleased for him as an individual that it's come around for him again here," he said. "He's had some dark, dark times, that's been clear when I've spoken with him, so I'm delighted to see his turnaround. We're seeing him really starting to mature now.
"It's not a case where he feels like he has to fight the world anymore. That was always my concern with Paul.
"He'll give you every last thing he's got and he's a wonderful competitor, but hopefully there's a trust between us now. I hope that trust is there now because I've got an awful lot of time for him."