Hull and Hammers go head-to-head for AC Milan’s Muntari
FA Cup second-favourites Hull City (7/2) as well as Premier League rivals West Ham are reportedly chasing £3m-rated AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari as they look to bolster their squads this summer.
As their top-flight status is all but confirmed (nine and 10 points above the drop zone respectively, with five games to go), the two clubs can now afford to plan ahead for next season.
Muntari, a former Portsmouth player, is still just 29-years-old, and his experience of playing at the top level as well as in the Premier League would be a welcome boost to either side. The Ghana international has a wealth of silverware to his name during his time at Inter Milan, including two Serie A titles and a Champions League medal, while he won the FA Cup for Pompey.
With 21 games in the league this campaign, Muntari has largely been a regular, barring the odd suspension or injury, but as Italian giants Milan are failing miserably this term – they are down in 11th – it may be time to jump ship. The 79-capped Ghanaian has had a fairly solid season, however, getting four goals and two assists from the deeper midfield role.
Hull, who face Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United in the FA Cup semis on April 13th as they bid for their first major trophy in the club’s history, have impressed since their promotion last summer and find themselves up in 12th.
The Tigers currently have Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore occupying the middle of the park but, with the latter on-loan from Tottenham, Steve Bruce will be looking for other acquisitions.
West Ham, who have also been linked with moves to re-sign former Hammers and current Manchester United duo Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand, have more options in midfield. Sam Allardyce has the likes of Mark Noble, Mohamed Diame, Wigan loanee Jack Collison, Matthew Taylor and the attack-minded Kevin Nolan on his books.
Muntari, whose contract ends in 2015, goes with his country Ghana to the World Cup this year. They face a tough first hurdle in Group G, however, which also consists of Germany, Portugal and USA. The Black Stars are third-favourites both to top the pool (10/1) and qualify to the knockout stages (5/2).