Hull City manager Steve Bruce is on the verge of signing Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Kevin Doyle, but the Republic of Ireland international has shown little in the past few years to suggest he has the firepower to blast the Tigers to Premier League safety.
Doyle pitched up at Molineux four years ago in a £6.5m move from Reading and his reputed £40,000 a week contract has led Kenny Jackett to plan for life without him, as the new manager attempts to navigate Wolves back to the Championship at the first attempt.
Hull – 13/20 for relegation straight back to the Championship – are willing to pay £3m for the striker, a significant outlay for the Yorkshire club and too much money for a 29-year-old whose best form seems to be behind him.
Doyle’s 13 Premier League goals helped keep Reading up in the 2006/2007 season, but he has failed to replicate that success since, weighing in with a modest four in his last Premier League campaign two years ago and failing to break into double figures last season in the second tier, as Wolves suffered the ignominy of relegation to League One a year after losing their top flight status.
Bruce needs to add a proven Premier League goal-getter to his squad, with midfielder Robert Koren topping the club’s charts with nine strikes last season, although Sone Aluko’s return of eight in an injury ravaged campaign will give the former Sunderland boss cause for optimism.
The Tiger’s nightmare start to the season – away to Chelsea followed by a home tie against Norwich and a visit to Eastlands to take on Manchester City – is the toughest of any of the promoted teams and the Humberside club could find themselves cut adrift before the season has really got going.