Hull manager Marco Silva has blocked Andy Robertson’s proposed move to Burnley, insisting the left-back is an important part of his squad.
Burnley had been linked with a £10million move for the Scotland international, with Robertson tipped to follow fellow high-profile players Robert Snodgrass and Jake Livermore out of the KCOM Stadium this month.
But Silva – who bolstered his backline with the loan capture of Andrea Ranocchia from Inter Milan on Tuesday – insists Robertson will not be leaving, with the left-back set to feature at Manchester United on Wednesday night.
“He’s our player, he’s an important player for us and in this moment I’m thinking to prepare Robertson to play (against United),” he said.
“I spoke with the player (on Monday) and I said – I was clear with him – ‘I want you to stay at the club, I keep you in our squad’. I said the same applies for our chairman.”
The decision to keep Robertson is, in part, motivated by a lack of numbers in defence, with centre-half Curtis Davies adding to their injury woes after being ruled out for around eight weeks with a hamstring problem.
Davies started in the FA Cup defeat to Fulham over the weekend, despite worries over his hamstring, and he lasted just 10 minutes before being replaced by Harry Maguire, himself carrying a slight knock.
Silva, though, felt he had little option but to include Davies in the line-up as he admitted he simply cannot rest key players.
“If I didn’t put Curtis in, we don’t have one centre-back to play this game, it’s not normal. It was a risk,” he said.
“It’s important when the players are ready to help always the team. Sometimes you play with a risk factor.
“In this moment it’s impossible for me to do some rotations and sometimes I need to make some adaptations in some positions, like Tom (Huddlestone). He plays always 90 minutes, plays centre-back, plays midfielder.
“Sometimes you need to be careful with him but in this moment it’s impossible. But I hope for the next weeks, we’ll be able to do these rotations.”
With Davies definitely out of the Old Trafford trip and Maguire and captain Michael Dawson doubtful, Silva may be tempted to give an immediate debut to Ranocchia.
The Italy international, capped 21 times by his country, joins fellow loan recruits Oumar Niasse, Evandro, Omar Elabdellaoui and Lazar Markovic in Humberside, with only Markus Henriksen arriving on a permanent basis this month.
Asked why the club are relying on loan signings in an effort to beat the drop, Silva said: “Sometimes it’s what is possible because to buy the players you need to have more money.
“Sometimes you need to pay attention in the market and be always ready to do what is possible to take the players.”
Silva refused to discuss other potential transfer targets, with Watford midfielder Adlene Guedioura among those tipped for a deadline-day move.
Despite sitting second bottom in the Premier League, Hull can travel to Old Trafford in high spirits after pushing Jose Mourinho’s men close over two legs in their EFL Cup semi-final.
Indeed, United’s 17-match unbeaten run came to an end in the second leg, and although Silva once again alluded to tired legs in the Hull camp he is optimistic over their hopes on Wednesday.
He added: “Some players in this moment are really tired because we don’t have players to make the rotation. Sure, with 20-30 guys we are better but in this moment I have confidence always and I hope our team have a good performance.”