Hull boss confirms protracted deal for winger is close - but how much will he cost?

Tom Ince 2

Hull City manager Steve Bruce confirmed that a deal for winger Thomas Ince is close after protracted negotiations between the Tigers and Blackpool.

Hull City lost May's FA Cup final against Arsenal, and whilst throwing away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 was a blow, they were subsequently handed a place in the Europa League qualifying round. Manager Steve Bruce embarked on a spending spree as a result, snapping up Michael Dawson, Harry Maguire, Andrew Robertson, Mohamed Diame, Jake Livermore, Robert Snodgrass, Hatem Ben Arfa, Gaston Ramirez and Abel Hernandez in an ambitious transfer window for the Tigers.

Another player who joined the club was winger Thomas Ince. The 22-year-old is the son of ex-England international Paul Ince, and started his career with his father's former club Liverpool. With limited opportunities there, Ince chose to leave Anfield for first team football with Blackpool, as the Seasiders took a punt on the youngster's potential - and were greatly rewarded.

Ince hit 33 goals in just 133 games for Blackpool, earning plaudits aplenty for his displays at Bloomfield Road - and subsequently earning admirers. With his contract running down in January this year, Ince joined Crystal Palace on loan, scoring once in eight appearances for the Eagles.

By the end of his time at Selhurst Park, Ince has free to join whoever he wanted...or at least, in theory he was. Ince was under 23 when his contract expired, meaning Blackpool were due compensation from whoever he decided to join. That team was Hull, and the Tigers have been locked in negotiations over how much the winger would cost before the situation went to a tribunal.

Now nearly three months since his move to the KC Stadium, manager Bruce says that an agreement is close over the fee going to Blackpool in exchange for Ince, who scored his first goal for the club against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night.

"I do believe that our chairman and the chairman of Blackpool are trying to get together before we go into the realms of committees and setting fees and all the rest of it," said Bruce. "As far as I know, the two are likely to meet this week I believe - whether that's this week or next week I'm not sure."

Blackpool were believed to be looking for £8m for Ince in order to avoid the situation going to a tribunal, but it seems unlikely that the courts would agree with that valuation, and even more unlikely that Hull would fork that much out given their recent spending spree.

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