Acun Ilicali reveals Hull City transfer plan as owner sends message to concerned fans

Hull City owner Acun Ilicali
-Credit: (Image: Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Hull City owner Acun Ilicali has detailed where he thinks the club need to strengthen ahead of the new Championship campaign.

City have seen a host of players move on since last season ended with the Tigers narrowly missing out on a place in the Championship's play-offs, and there could yet be further departures.

Jaden Philogene and Jacob Greaves are closing in on moves to Ipswich Town while Jean Michael Seri is attracting interest from Saudi Arabia. There are understood to be other fringe players who could yet seek regular football elsewhere, including Ryan Longman and Jason Lokilo.

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The Tigers have been boosted by the return of striker Oscar Estupinan from his loan spell in Brazil, but City remain concerningly light, particularly in the front third of the pitch, something the Turkish businessman says is being addressed.

Ilicali says two signings are close with a right-back and striker, both with extensive Championship experience, edging closer to permanent moves, while West Brom's Okay Yokuslu is a player of significant interest. But there will need to be further quality additions to give Tim Walter a fighting chance come the start of the season with a desire to make significant progress while the players are at their pre-season training camp in Istanbul.

"We need at least, eight or nine new players," Ilicali told Hull Live. "We need a centre back and we are about to get our right back soon. I would say that we need three midfielders and we need one centre-back, we also need two more wingers plus two strikers. The striker and right-back are very close."

Ilicali stopped short of commenting on specific names when pressed if City were looking at rekindling interest in Crystal Palace winger Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who was minutes away from signing a loan deal on deadline day last summer. "We are working on many players, so I don't want to speak about any specific names just at the moment," he added.

As they did to good effect last season in tapping into relationships with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool to get Fabio Carvalho, Tyler Morton and Liam Delap, City will make the most of the loan market once again.

"We will bring in five loan players, I can say that," he said. "I'm sure that they will be the good ones, as we have very good relationships with big clubs. I think our targets will be excited because we finished seventh last season and they saw the development, and I think with the right loans along with our permanent signings, we can fight for the play-offs again."

Ilicali, who is acutely aware of the criticism and concern amongst fans this summer, says his passion and determination has not changed, and urged fans to believe that the club will get things right.

"I want all of my fans to know that we are a very strong family and this strong family is coming from our fans' passion for this beautiful club," he continued.

"Clubs are strong when they have good fans and we have the best fans in England because they are so positive, such supportive fans and I don't think any club has something like this; you cannot buy this support with money. This only can be done with the hearts of beautiful people, so I will say that please support us.

"We can make mistakes, we can have problems, but we are stronger if we handle everything together. I want them to be sure about our passion and support us as much as they can. Keep cool and believe in the process."