With the Premier League right around the corner, a series of injury blows has left Hull City’s squad looking ominously short on numbers, and Steve Bruce is facing a race against time to bring in reinforcements. One of which looks likely to be Reading’s Chris Gunter.
A knee injury has ensured Moses Odubajo is joining stalwart defender Alex Bruce and goalkeeper Alan McGregor in being absent until 2017.
And the terrible luck doesn’t end there, with Michael Dawson also ruled out for three months, again with a knee injury.
All this means Bruce Senior can currently call upon just Curtis Davies and Andrew Robertson at the back, leaving Hull in desperate need of boosting their defensive numbers.
Following a starring role for Wales at Euro 2016, Gunter has been linked with a series of clubs, including Celtic, Newcastle and Swansea City.
But now it seems Bruce, despite interest from England over the vacant national role, is kick-starting his preparations for the new season.
Reports that the Tigers had met a release clause in Gunter’s contract – signed in February – have been denied, but the club need players and they need them quickly and a move for the Welshman is believed to be imminent.
Predominantly a right-back, the former Nottingham Forest man can also do a job at right midfield or even left-back, offering Bruce some potentially crucial options should he find himself with a Hull squad lacking in depth.
Reliability will be another huge asset Gunter could bring to the Tigers, featuring 52 times in all competitions for the Royals last term.
Even more impressively, the 26-year-old missed just two league games, and played the full 90 minutes on 40 occasions in the Championship.
The Tigers are also chasing Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane, and both Sane and Gunter are needed at the wounded club sooner rather than later.
Hull open their campaign by welcoming reigning champions Leicester to the KC Stadium.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.