DAVID MEYLER will join Hull City from Sunderland in a £1.5m deal once he agrees personal terms with the Championship promotion-chasers.
The Corkman's representatives were in talks with the Tigers hierarchy as they looked to agree a three-and-a-half-year deal. His father John, the former Wexford and Cork hurler, has also been involved in negotiations.
Meyler has impressed during a two-month loan spell at Hull, with Steve Bruce's side moving into second place and targeting automatic promotion. After making just a solitary Premier League appearance under Martin O'Neill, it is clear that the 23-year-old's first-team opportunities at the Stadium of Light would be limited if he chose to stay put.
Roy Keane brought Meyler to England, but it was under Bruce's tenure at Sunderland that he made his name. However, two knee ligament injuries halted his progress, and reports in the north-east have suggested that O'Neill retains concerns about the player's mobility in the wake of those setbacks.
His performances for Hull would suggest otherwise though, with Meyler demonstrating his well-being by coming through a run of games unscathed and demonstrating his athleticism by getting forward to provide a goalscoring threat.
"He's given us something different since he's come into the team," said Bruce. "He gives us energy and drive that complements the good footballers we've got.
"He can only get better as well. His career has been hampered by a knee injury and he'll get better the more he plays."
Meyler also gave a firm indication that he should have no problem agreeing terms by stressing that he was keen on a move. "It's a great place to be and I've loved being here," he said. "Hopefully we can sort something out. I'll leave it to my representatives and my father to sort it out, but I've been thrilled to work with the gaffer over the last two months."
In normal circumstances, there would be a kickback for the League of Ireland club that produced Meyler, but Cork City sold their sell-on clause when they met the financial troubles that ultimately led to their winding up. They did the same with Kevin Doyle, who was subsequently sold to Wolves by Reading for £6.5m. The current Cork City, driven by supporters group FORAS, are a separate trading entity.
With Meyler almost nailed down, Bruce will turn his attentions to prolonging Robbie Brady's stay at Hull. He has already made it clear that he would like to sign the young Dubliner permanently, but he would be happy with a quick loan extension now that his temporary stay has expired.
"We're not sure if there's a possibility of a loan until the end of the season or to make it permanent," Bruce added. "That's something that Manchester United will discuss over the next couple of days."