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Bruce to bid for Manchester United star Welbeck

Manchester United, 5/1 to win the Premier League, could be set to cash in on England forward Danny Welbeck, with Hull City boss, and former Red Devils skipper, Steve Bruce believed to be at the front of the queue for his services.

Bruce is looking for a new star striker as Shane Long, who only joined the club from West Brom in January, prepares for his surprising switch to Southampton.

It is believed the Tigers will net £12m for the Republic of Ireland forward, a significant profit on the £7m they are supposed to have splurged on the Premier League poacher a mere few months ago.

This will allow Bruce the funds to lure another attacker to the KC Stadium, with World Cup star Welbeck reportedly top of his wishlist.

As the Humberside outfit are fighting on four fronts this season, the Tigers can likely offer Three Lions forward Welbeck more first-team opportunities than United.

Hull boss Bruce is apparently a big fan of the England international, having loaned Welbeck from United in 2010/11, when the youngster scored six goals in 26 outings for the Black Cats.

The adaptable attacker will almost certainly play second-fiddle to the prolific Robin van Persie and new captain Wayne Rooney in Louis van Gaal’s 3-4-1-2 formation, and it appears a back-up role may not be enough to keep the Red Devils talent at Old Trafford.

Welbeck, 23, has already spoken out about a lack of playing time in his favoured position. Before departing to Brazil with Roy Hodgson’s squad, he revealed: “I’ve been playing on the left for a while and it’s got to the time when I want to stake a place up front.

“It does get frustrating. You want to play in a certain position and you’re not getting the opportunity to do that.”

Following the sensational signing of Van Persie in 2012, Longsight-born Welbeck has been regularly deployed out wide, by both Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, in an attempt to utilise his strength, speed, work-rate and versatility.

This has led to a loss of form up front, with the forward never netting more than nine Premier League goals in a season, and seeing Liverpool poacher Daniel Sturridge edge ahead of him in the Three Lions pecking order.

Having joined the United academy at age eight, Welbeck worked his way through the ranks, exploding onto the Old Trafford scene with a memorable Premier League debut goal against Stoke City.

Two successful loan spells at Preston North End and Sunderland followed, with Welbeck also impressing during his first full season at Old Trafford, forming an exciting partnership with Rooney.

The Red Devils, 9/4 to be top northwest club, are supposedly set to axe a host of stars this summer, but Welbeck was not thought to be on Van Gaal’s hitlist. His link-up play and pace could be integral to the Dutch coach’s plans, and the youngster looked to have thrived in the new set-up during pre-season.

United are believed to be reluctant to lose their homegrown prospect, but Bruce will be hoping Welbeck now sees his future away from the red half of Manchester, and opts to reunite with his former mentor instead.