Friday 17 November 2017

Steve Bruce makes £6m bid to capture Shane Long

Everton's new signing Aiden McGeady was unveiled at Goodison Park yesterday
Everton's new signing Aiden McGeady was unveiled at Goodison Park yesterday

SHANE LONG may be the next Republic of Ireland attacking player to move in the transfer window following confirmation that Aiden McGeady had completed his move from Spartak Moscow to Everton.

Hull City manager Steve Bruce appears determined to bring Long to the KC Stadium. Having seen his side fail to find the target against Chelsea, Bruce is hoping to strengthen his attacking line this month. Hull agreed a fee with Everton for Nikica Jelavic on Friday and reports yesterday suggested the club had bid £6m for Long.

"A new player always brings a little bit to the squad, a bit of impetus," said Bruce yesterday. "Let's hope we can get both. You're never sure how it can go but we're trying our best."

Long, who played the full 90 minutes in West Brom's defeat at Southampton yesterday, was minutes away from joining Hull on deadline day in September, flying to the training ground in a specially hired private jet, only for West Brom to pull out of the deal late in the day when their own pursuit of Romelu Lukaku fell through.

Bruce has continued to keep tabs on the 26-year-old during a season that has seen him come in and out of the Baggies side but on Thursday denied newspaper reports that a fee had been agreed and a medical scheduled.

"We agreed a fee (for Jelavic) last night. We hope we can persuade him to come here," said Bruce. "We're trying our best and we'll see what happens. We've had a conversation with West Brom about Long's availability at boardroom level but that's as far as that goes at the moment. They've appointed a new manager, so I'd have thought they would have to have a conversation with him, so we'll see how that develops."

Although out of contract in the summer, Long would be expected to fetch a similar fee to Jelavic, so it's thought that Bruce and owner Assem Allam are prepared to break the Tigers' transfer record twice in the current window.

Long's wife Kayleah was in the spotlight earlier this week when she appeared to suggest he would not be leaving the Hawthorns, writing on Twitter: 'Not going anywhere! Told Shane happy here & with baby on way it not worth the stress when still in contract! He agreed happydays.'

That has not deterred Bruce, who believes he can persuade Long and Jelavic to join a side that has defied expectations in the Premier League this season.

McGeady, meanwhile, signed a four-and-a-half year contract. The 27-year-old, capped 63 times, was presented to Everton fans just before kick-off in their league clash with Norwich City at Goodison Park.

It has previously been reported that McGeady would not join Everton until his contract expired at the end of the season. No transfer fee was disclosed but it's believed to be £2m. Martinez revealed the club had been discussing terms with McGeady for next season when an opportunity arose to sign him immediately.

"We were talking to Aiden and we agreed for him to come next season," he said. "But because of his situation in Spartak, obviously that he wasn't going to be involved too much, and the situation with Nikica Jelavic, we were quite happy to make it happen now. I do feel the money we are going to spend will be well spent.

"I was delighted to have Aiden at the end of the season but now it is a real boost to be able to work with him straight away."

McGeady will now join the Everton squad for a week's warm-weather training in Tenerife ahead of their next game at West Brom on January 20. "There is going to be a bit of an adaptation period because he hasn't played in the last five or six weeks," added Martinez. "That is going to give us a little bit of time. But everything is signed and he will travel with us tomorrow to warm-weather training. It is a great moment to introduce him to the squad."

McGeady joined Spartak from Celtic in 2010, helping them to second in the league in 2011-'12, and will join up with international team-mates Darron Gibson, James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman at Everton. He also bring Champions League experience as Roberto Martinez's side push for a top-four finish.

Irish Independent

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