Hull City spent two years tracking Ryan Longman before finally clinching his signature on a season long loan deal from Brighton during the summer.
The attacking midfielder had been on City’s radar long before he arrived at the MKM Stadium, according to head of recruitment Lee Darnbrough.
Longman, who hasn’t featured in Grant McCann’s squad for their last three Championship defeats, was one of nine summer signings made by City in preparation for their campaign back in the second tier.
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City also tried to sign Jack Marriott from Derby County, before the striker opted to turn down the Tigers and move back to Peterborough United, and Darnbrough admits closing out a deal is tough when there are so many variables at play.
“Yes, it’s difficult, but yes, we speak to a lot players, agents and representatives,” Darnbrough told BBC Radio Humberside.
“There’s an association with Grant from a previous club, it’s trying to make everything come together that it suits.
“In that situation it might be that they’d built a house in the area and didn’t want to move, so you’re powerless to stop that if that’s what the player and their family want, then you have to respect it and move onto the next one.
“It’s a fact of life I’m afraid.”
While Darnbrough was reluctant to delve into the mechanics of Marriott’s move, he highlighted the situation with Longman and how the Tigers had been chasing him in addition to Marriott.
“I can’t comment on specifics, I wouldn’t want to because he’s not a Hull City player but from that point of view, whether its relocation, whether they’ve got family commitments in the area, a young family, there’s lots of things that come to make a transfer happen.
“What we see in 90 minutes when they’re playing is one thing, everything else around it in terms of attracting a player, Ryan Longman for example – we tracked Ryan for two years since Jarrod (Bowen) was here, so that’s been a long courtship to get Ryan.”
Building contacts and relationships with players takes time, and with City working 12 months in advance on identifying future targets, Darnbrough says it’s a process which requires time and patience.
“It’s not things that happen two seconds ago and you react to it, we have to build those relationships so that people know why they’re coming to Hull and the purpose of it and their role within it,” he explained.
“Then we have to find the characters that fit from a coaching perspective.
“We’re not the only club in for players and sometimes clubs offer things that we can’t match or we can’t compete with.”
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