Phil Brown believes Alan Smith could still be an England international
Hull City manager Phil Brown has played down suggestions that he is interested in versatile Newcastle United player Alan Smith.
Brown admitted his admiration for Smith but denied talks were under way.
The Tigers boss told BBC Radio Humberside: "It would be remiss of me to say we're interested without making contact with Newcastle.
He added: "The lad's a great footballer. He's got a great attitude and he's got a fantastic mentality."
Of course we are interested in the best players in the world
Brown was responding to weekend newspaper reports linking the Premier League's surprise package with the former England international. He added: "Where it's come from I've no idea but again it's testimony to where we are in the division to be linked with a former England international, and, probably still, an England international.
"Of course we are interested in the best players in the world but I haven't made any contact."
Meanwhile, Hull players Wayne Brown and John Welsh have gone out on loan.
Central defender Brown has joined Championship side Preston on an initial one month loan with a view to a permanent deal when the transfer window opens again in January.
Brown admitted that if the player left for Deepdale permanently the Tigers would ask for money. "It's a loan deal but if we did let Wayne go permanently, of course we would want a fee."
Midfielder Welsh has joined League One Carlisle United for a month on loan but that deal is also with a view to a permanent switch.
The City manager explained that he felt the former Liverpool player needed to play first team football . He added: "John's found himself in front of a brick wall and he's not getting regular football. He's a great lad and he needs to get his career back on track and I expect him to go to Carlisle and pull up trees."
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