Jacob Greaves and Jaden Philogene latest as Hull City sent transfer message amid new development

Jaden Philogene and Jacob Greaves are attracting significant interest
-Credit: (Image: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It feels like a matter of when and not if Jacob Greaves and Jaden Philogene leave Hull City amid strong interest in the Tigers' duo from home and abroad.

Barcelona were the stand-out admirers for Philogene while Ipswich Town have flexed their fresh financial muscle following promotion to the Premier League by lodging a bid worth in the region of £30m plus add-ons for the pair, a clear indication of how highly Kieran McKenna rated their showings at City last term, having tried to sign Philogene 12 months ago.

A move to Barcelona now looks unlikely at this stage and given their financial predicament, always felt some way away from being in City's best interests.

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Everton and West Ham are also keen on Greaves while Nottingham Forest have been tracking him for a period of time, though the Hammers' £40m deal for Max Kilman will almost certainly rule them out of the chase. Crystal Palace are another who would like to sign Philogene, should their primary targets not arrive and have already missed out on Iliman Ndiaye after he moved to Goodison Park.

A deal with Palace could be favourable to City, given the fact the two clubs have a good working relationship. Malcolm Ebiowei came from Selhurst Park in January 2023, though that move didn't work out while a deal to sign Jesurun Rak-Sakyi almost came to pass on deadline day last summer having tracked him for a lengthy amount of time and would represent a logical replacement, while January target Chris Willock would represent a smart, logical move on a free transfer from QPR as another example.

As it stands, Portman Road seems a likely destination for the pair at this stage, with firm money on the table from the Suffolk-based club, and a deal the Tigers are giving serious consideration.

City owner Acun Ilicali has made it clear on more than one occasion that he will not stand in the way of any player who wants to leave the club, and that's the case with both Greaves and Philogene. Neither is demanding to be sold, though both have made their stance clear that they would like to play in the Premier League.

The task for City is to get the best deal possible and sooner rather than later. The need to bring players in is paramount with the new campaign fast approaching. While City will want to eke out as much as they can, there must also be an acceptance that doing a very good deal now will help in a myriad of ways, and give the club valuable finance to strengthen the squad this summer.

Bringing in £35m - or more - now would give Tim Walter a significantly enhanced budget to go and attempt to replace the level of quality that's been lost since the end of the season, particularly in the top half of the pitch. City could try and sweat it out until the end of next month for a few extra pounds, but that's a luxury they cannot really afford.

Almost all (63) of last season's 68 goals have been lost with players like Ozan Tufan (10), Fabio Carvalho (9), Liam Delap (8) and Aaron Connolly (8) all moving on, while Philogene's 12 was more than anyone else. For City to offer any kind of challenge to the top half of the table this season, those goals have to be replaced.

Having invested £5m in Philogene from Villa, City have shown they can be shrewd in the market. That they can identify a match-winning player, buy him for good money and substantially increase his value within a season. They've also used the loan market to good effect, Tyler Morton, Delap and Carvalho to name but three prove that.

As we stand now, City's squad is threadbare and arrivals of quality are needed. Losing Greaves and Philogene will only make things worse, but it will present the club with a huge opportunity to reinvest and bring in players Walter believes will be able to adapt to his system. Time, however, is pressing.

A system which has already seen big changes this week in the opening days of pre-season training. No longer does he want his midfielders to drop deep and collect the ball off the goalkeeper or central defenders, he wants his midfielders to be powerful, dynamic and have the belief to carry the ball high up the pitch into attacking areas, his defenders to bring the ball past the halfway line.

Selling Philogene will be disappointing, he brought so much joy and excitement last season but it's inevitable, selling Greaves will be gut-wrenching to Tigers fans given he's one of their own and has come through the club's academy. A Championship club selling their top players is nothing new, it's the circle of football life and while it's a difficult conversation, it's one that must be had because ultimately, the club will be in a stronger financial position if, and when, they move on.