Hull City head coach Grant McCann has cleared the way for Markus Henriksen and David Milinkovic to leave the KCOM Stadium next month, saying both players will can expect fresh starts in 2020.
Henriksen and Milinkovic have become City’s forgotten men this season after they failed to secure moves late in the summer window.
Milinkovic did feature in the Carabao Cup win away to Tranmere Rovers in August before being told he had no future under McCann but Henriksen has not featured at all since a pre-season friendly at home to Amiens.
The Norway international was keen to leave City in favour of long-term opportunities overseas in the summer but a deal to suit all parties could not be struck.
McCann has since opted against drafting Henriksen back into his plans and has even allowed the former club captain to train with boyhood club Rosenborg in his home city of Trondheim.
The midfielder is due to become a free agent in the summer after rejecting the contract extension offered by City in September but McCann believes both Henriksen and Milinkovic will finally depart during the January window.
“I think they will and I think it’s only fair,” said McCann. “We know the situation with Markus at the start of the season.
“We all thought he was leaving, he wanted to leave, he didn’t leave and then all of a sudden Markus makes himself available to play and by then I’d replaced him. It was what it was.
“David has just found it difficult to get in front of players like (Jarrod) Bowen, (Kamil) Grosicki and (Josh) Bowler.
“That’s football, that’s life. And I hope both of them can find pastures new because they’re two good lads.
“They deserve to play football and that’s what they get paid to do. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened for them here this season.”
The only question mark surrounding Henriksen will be the nature of his exit. City would prefer to sell the midfielder at a price heavily reduced from the £4m they sought in the summer but could be forced to entertain a loan deal if nothing materialises.
Henriksen is among City’s highest earners, believed to be commanding in the region of £20,000 a week.
The financial commitments surrounding Milinkovic are much less but City are equally determined to move the winger on.
Milinkovic has not started a Championship game since first arriving in English football at the start of the 2018-19 season and it is understood the Tigers would not seek a fee in return for another club taking on the remaining 18 months of his deal.
“Everyone is on the same page,” added McCann. “We want them to go and play football and do what they grew up loving. I’m sure when January comes they’ll both get that wish.”
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