Regan Slater is set to be a name that crops up a lot in the transfer rumours for Hull City this summer.
The midfielder is a target for the Tigers as they prepare for life back in the Championship next season, following their League One title success.
Slater certainly played his part in that promotion, particularly during the second half of the season as he started eight of City’s final nine games, playing a starring role in the Tigers engine room alongside Greg Docherty and player of the season George Honeyman.
The Tigers are speaking to parent club Sheffield United about his future, although bringing him back to the KCOM Stadium next season could be complicated.
Here’s the latest situation in City’s pursuit of Slater.
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The City stance
Grant McCann has made his feelings very clear on Slater – he wants to bring him back next season.
The season had barely finished when the City boss declared his intentions.
“We’ve lost the three loan players and with Regan, he’s one we’d love to bring back for sure,” McCann said last month.
The Tigers boss has not backed down from his desire to secure Slater’s services again, although he has admitted it won’t be straightforward.
“Regan’s a difficult one really,” McCann said earlier this week.
“As you know, Sheffield United took the option on Regan’s contract.
“We are talking to Sheffield United on that, but we’ll see.
“We’d love to get Regan in, there’s no question about that, we’d love to get him in to the football club, but at this present time it’s a little bit difficult because the manager may want to look at Regan in pre-season.
“We’re trying, but there’s other options.”
The Blades’ stance
Slater’s future at Bramall Lane is very much up in the air, although the noise coming from the Blades suggests they might choose to take a closer look at him this summer.
The midfielder has had a one-year option on his contract taken up by the club, meaning he’ll be staying put with United.
With new manager Slavisa Jokanovic getting his feet under the table, and his side heading back into the Championship next season – where they will be direct rivals with City – Slater could well end up playing a part for the Blades next season.
“He’s gone out and earned his gametime,” former interim boss Paul Heckingbottom said.
“As the season went on he got more and more gametime which speaks to him and how he’s performed in a team that was top of the league.”
“We’ve had him watched this season and his position for me is simple in what he’s saying to the club and the new manager – he needs to have a look at him.
“We as a football club have to make a decision. If he’s not quite ready we have to keep him moving in the right direction but, hopefully, he’ll have done enough to get in the squad and if he comes back in even better shape he might even get in the team, that’s what we’re hoping for with our young players.
“When he comes back into the building we’ll want him to attack pre-season in the same way to make the right impression.”
At the very least, it seems as though City will have to wait if they are to secure his services.
Who else is interested?
A number of other clubs are said to be interested in Slater, with Championship rivals Preston North End the only ones so far other than City to have been named.
The Lilywhites will be looking for a new midfielder this summer to replace Jayson Molumby, who heads back to parent club Brighton after playing 16 games at Deepdale.
City though look like they hold an advantage over their rivals.
Slater himself is thought to be keen on a return to the Tigers next season – at the very least, he’s open to the idea.
“It’s very nice to know when people are singing your praises. If it doesn’t work at Sheffield United then I’d love to see the fans in the KCOM,” Slater told Hull Live last month.
It seems it might be a straight shootout between the Blades and the Tigers for Slater next season.