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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Brown rejects suggestions of "fire sale" at Hull

Phil Brown has again insisted there will be no "fire sale" as Hull attempt to arrest their financial problems.

Reports have suggested Hull are prepared to transfer-list their entire squad in the hope of clearing debts of £9 million. Yet while chairman Adam Pearson has spoken of the need to move out fringe players and slash the wage bill by £6 million, Brown does not intend to offload his stars.

Hull have already shown their resolve by rejecting three bids from Wolves for winger Stephen Hunt, the latest of which was £4 million, and Brown is anxious to keep the player.

Brown said: "There are a number of clubs interested in Stephen Hunt, if they think there is a fire sale at this club. Consequently we have stood in the way of that, saying he is not for sale.

"Stephen is a good player at this level. I think everyone likes his attitude, his character and the way he plays the game.

"Everybody wants a piece of that and I have had numerous phone calls from manager enquiring, 'Are we selling?' - and the answer is no."

Brown has conceded previously, however, the club will have to listen to offers for all players given their financial state.

That means everyone does eventually have their price and Brown will not be surprised if Wolves return with yet another improved bid for Hunt before Monday's transfer deadline.

He added: "But, as you always know, (Cristiano) Ronaldo was for sale at £80 million - simple as that."

Brown even believes there may be an element of mischief-making about Wolves' persistent interest in Hunt, as the two clubs are due to meet in the Premier League on Saturday.

Yet if Wolves are trying to unsettle the Republic of Ireland international before a crucial relegation battle, Brown insists it will not work.

"I wouldn't have said Stephen is ever settled," he said. "He is a fiery kind of character - that is the way he plays his football. He is a great, bubbly character.

"He is a one off, a great lad to have in your changing room. Even unsettled he will give his best and if someone has decided to unsettle him, unfairly, hopefully the opposition will get the consequences of him being unsettled."

Brown added that the club have actually begun "tentative" talks over a new contract with Hunt, who joined the club on a four-year deal last summer.

Former Wigan striker Amr Zaki is set to make his Hull debut as a substitute against Wolves at the KC Stadium but talisman Jimmy Bullard is not ready to return from a knee injury.

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