Hull’s new head coach Leonid Slutsky will not be relying on Chelsea loanees in his bid to win promotion straight back to the Premier League.
Slutsky, 46, is good friends with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and speculation over a possible influx of players on loan from the Blues has mounted.
But former CSKA Moscow boss Slutsky, the first Russian manager in the Football League, made it clear that was not his only option.
“We spoke with Mr Abramovich about the situation and Chelsea have 37 players (out) on loan and it’s a really big place, so maybe, but not absolutely,” Slutsky told the Tigers’ official website.
“Yes I have a good relationship, but Hull is a very proud and independent club. Of course if some players come on loan here it’s normal, but Hull is an independent club.”
— Hull City (@HullCity) June 14, 2017
Slutsky, head coach of Russia during Euro 2016, is confident his squad will be ready in time to mount a promotion challenge and has already pinpointed where he needs to strengthen the squad.
“We have an opportunity to sign some new players and we have five options on loan,” he said.
“We have some time, not a lot of time, but two weeks and I hope when we start pre-season on July 3 we will have 90 per cent of our squad.
“Now is a very busy time for me and the club because we need some new players.
“We need a central defender, maybe two, a left defender, two forwards, maybe another player in that attacking group. It’s maybe six or seven players that we need.”
Hull have been boosted by Ryan Mason’s return to training – the midfielder has been sidelined since fracturing his skull in January – and Slutsky added he had telephoned the former Tottenham player on Tuesday to wish him happy birthday.