Hull City's 'seven-figure' bid to sign David Meyler close to being agreed with Sunderland
HULL City are closing in on a permanent deal for Sunderland midfielder David Meyler as they look to complete their first business of the January transfer window.
The Mail understands a seven-figure sum – around £1.5m – has been tabled in the last 48 hours, and that Sunderland are unwilling to stand in Meyler's way of a fresh start at the KC Stadium.
The 23-year-old has quickly established himself as an instrumental figure in City's promotion bid since signing on loan in November, scoring three goals in six Championship starts.
That form soon made Meyler a leading target for Steve Bruce and the City boss will hope he can land his man with the financial backing of owner Assem Allam.
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Meyler, whose initial loan deal with the Tigers runs until today, had been tipped to return to Sunderland last week, only for Martin O'Neill to perform a late U-turn and allow the Republic of Ireland international to remain with City for the Yorkshire derby with Leeds United.
A third goal in four games duly followed for the in-form Meyler in the Tigers' memorable 2-0 win, and he will again be a key figure as City attempt to begin 2013 with a bang at Blackpool this afternoon.
A permanent move for Meyler will be the first of three deals attempted by Bruce this week.
As well as aiming to retain or sign Manchester United wide-man Robbie Brady before his loan expires on Thursday, City remain keen on a move for Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale, who impressed during five games on loan last month.
Ahead of today's trip to Blackpool, Bruce said: "I've spoken with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and I've been in contact with Fulham and with Sunderland too. We're doing as much as we possibly can to keep hold of the players we've got.
"That's our first priority this month and I would hope that we can get them tied up, at least until the end of the season, within the next week."
While it remains to be seen if either Manchester Untied or Fulham would be open to offers for Brady or Stockdale, a deal for Meyler illustrates the support pledged by the City board this month.
Although Bruce has done most of his business as City boss in loan deals and free transfers, making funds available for Meyler underlines an intention to make 2013 a promotion year.
Further backing is expected to be forthcoming for a new attacking option, but Bruce is willing to stay patient during notoriously difficult trading conditions. Sunderland's Fraizer Campbell and Swansea's Danny Graham are two under consideration.
Fresh blood will inevitably lead to others being sacrificed and Aaron Mclean could be the most high-profile player to depart this month.
The 29-year-old striker has started just one of the last 13 league games, failing to even make the bench for Saturday's victory over Leeds.
City head to Blackpool second in the Championship after ending 2012 with a run of seven games unbeaten and eyeing a fifth consecutive away victory.