Hull Tigers saga frustrates Mike Phelan

Hull caretaker boss Mike Phelan admitted to growing frustration over the club’s ongoing takeover saga but said he remains confident of becoming manager on a permanent basis.

Phelan confirmed he is considering an offer made to him by Hull this week but was not sure when his own future would be resolved, while the club is currently in talks with two different consortiums keen on buying out the Allam family.

“We are in discussions,” said Phelan, whose side take on Arsenal at the KCOM Stadium today.

“We’ve had a week of trying to sort things out and we’re still at that stage. Nothing has transpired which has made me put pen to paper just yet, but it is ongoing.

“It’s one of those things where there’s still the background of takeovers and non-takeovers and I find myself just in the middle of that, trying to sort out my future.”

Hull vice-chairman Ehab Allam, whose family have owned the Tigers since 2010, had said at the end of last month that the club hoped to finalise a takeover deal before the end of the international break.

That deal is understood to have been with a Chinese consortium headed by a brother and sister partnership of Dai Yongge and Dai Xin Li.

The Premier League is continuing with its owners’ and directors test but a second consortium, Chien Lee’s Chinese/American consortium, has entered into talks with the club and Phelan admitted the complexities were clouding his own future.

“I think it is part of the issue yes,” he said. “I don’t really know what the situation is.”

“But everything seems to come back to a deal, a non-deal, depending on who’s in charge and that is possibly a frustrating thing from my point of view.”

The second consortium is reported to be led by Chien Lee and his American partners, who purchased an 80% stake in French Ligue 1 club Nice earlier in the summer.

Meanwhile Arsene Wenger has revealed his plan to use Granit Xhaka as a box-to-box midfielder, suggesting he still plans to re-shape his team.

The £35m Swiss international is yet to dislodge Wenger’s preferred central midfield pairing of Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, but the manager is adamant he is capable of more.

“I personally prefer him as a box-to-box player,” said Wenger. “Because he has the engine, he has the power, he has the long pass.

He likes to come deep and distribute the game, but he has the engine to have the impact with his runs.

“It’s not about his quality at the moment — he adapts to the pace of the English game — and for me it’s about pairs as well, who work together. Coquelin and Cazorla have worked well together. He will play games; every week he’s stronger and better. He will have a huge impact.

Wenger hopes to again have Theo Walcott available today but Aaron Ramsey remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, Gabriel Paulista remains short of match fitness and Olivier Giroud requires a late fitness test after receiving a knock.


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