Hull City manager Grant McCann has insisted that the Tigers will not be looking to cash in on Mallik Wilks this summer and plan to ensure he stays with them.
Wilks played a vital role in helping Hull get back into the Championship at the first time of asking this season, with the forward firing home 19 league goals and also providing eight assists in his 44 appearances.
The 22-year-old’s form saw him finally start to deliver on the promise that he has shown at times throughout his career and start to make the most of his chances in the final third.
The forward has already been attracting interest from Premier League sides ahead of the summer window. Football League World have previously reported that Burnley are interested in making a potential move for him. While further reports from Football Insider have now revealed that Crystal Palace and Newcastle United could also be in the mix for his signature.
What club do these 21 former Hull City players ply their trade at now?
Speaking to BBC Sport, via Hull Hull Live, McCann insisted that he has been informed that none of his key players will be for sale this summer. He also indicated that it would not be the right moment to sell Wilks anyway given the finances around the game at the moment.
He said: “The owners have been very clear that nobody is for sale and we want to add to the group.
“Mallik’s had a tremendous season, I’ve managed Mallik now for two-and-a-half years and hopefully I can get the best out of him again next year and he can have another good year for us in the Championship.
“It’s very important.
“Realistically, it’s not the time to sell anyway, is it, given what’s happened in the last 16 to 18 months for football clubs and businesses. It’s not the time to.
“You are not going to get the best price for your upcoming talents at this time, but we also know that it’s a business, people will move on and you have to replace.
“At this present time, no one is going and we’re pleased with that. We can build around the group that we’ve got and hopefully keep us in a strong position and we can go into next season looking forward to it knowing that we’ve got a good team on the pitch, a competitive team that will give everything for this football club.”
This is excellent news for Hull supporters and shows that the Tigers are ready to show real ambition in the transfer market this summer in terms of maintaining firm stances on their best players. That is something they will have to do because as they saw last time they were in the second tier you can not sell off your best-attacking assets and expect to stay in the division.
Relegation to League One might have been a massive wake-up call for the club, and now it seems they are better prepared to hang on to key players such as Wilks. The forward’s form means it is no surprise to see him being linked with some Premier League clubs. However, it might be a little too early for him to make that jump up straight away from the third tier.
Wilks would really benefit from a full season at Championship level where he knows that he is the main man and will be given chances to start every week. That is what he has at Hull and given he is only 22-years-old, there will still be plenty of time for him to make a move somewhere else in the coming years if he performs well next term.