Hull City face transfer blow as Lee Darnbrough set for Championship rivals switch

Hull City's head of recruitment Lee Darnbrough
-Credit: (Image: Kate Woolhouse)

Hull City head of recruitment Lee Darnbrough is set to leave the Tigers for Stoke City. The 46-year-old joined City from Norwich in 2017 but is believed to making the switch to Championship rivals Stoke.

He has worked with an array of managers while at the MKM Stadium, from Leonid Slutsky, Nigel Adkins, Grant McCann, Shota Arvaladze and Liam Rosenior, but is set to leave for the Potters.

He has previous been linked with Premier League roles, including Wolves in 2020, and Scottish Premiership side Hearts, however on both occasions he opted to stay with Hull.

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Darnborough arrived at the club under Assem Allam's ownership but remained following Acun Ilicali's takeover and has been behind several big transfer deals.

He helped bring future stars such as Fikayo Tomori and Harry Wilson, along with more recent players such as Fabio Carvalho, Liam Delap and Jaden Philogene.

He also was forced to operate during the club's transfer embargo, which made life difficult for a head of recruitment. Speaking in 2022 following promotion back to the Championship, he said: “We got relegated under the Covid pandemic and league finishing, with players not playing due to their contract status, the results weren’t great and we’d gone from the heights of being on the verge of being in the play-offs to being relegated that was tough.

“To win the league – the club’s first league title in 55 years – and keep that group together [was a real high]. I understood why the loan was taken, but that brought its own challenges in terms of not being able to pay transfer fees, loan fees and being restricted on wages etcetera, it made it tough.”