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Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 15:44 UK

Hull complete Hunt & Ghilas deals

Stephen Hunt
Hunt has 18 senior international caps to his name

Hull have completed the signing of Reading winger Stephen Hunt for what the Royals say is a "sizeable fee".

The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international has signed a four-year deal with the Tigers.

Tigers boss Phil Brown has also added to his front line by recruiting Algeria striker Kamel Ghilas, 25, on a four-year deal from Celta Vigo.

And Brown has revealed he is keen to bring Real Madrid's £12m-rated striker Alvaro Negredo to the KC Stadium.

Hunt told BBC Look North: "Reading wanted to sell me and it was a matter of getting a club who wanted to buy.

"Hull City have come in and paid the money, I'm delighted to be here and can't wait to start."

Kamel Ghilas
Ghilas has been capped 13 times by Algeria

Hull are likely to face stiff competition from the likes of Roma, Zenit St Petersburg and Villarreal for the signature of 23-year-old Spaniard Negredo.

Brown admitted negotiations over the transfer had been slow and he couldn't be sure that any further progress would be made before Hull's opening game of the Premier League season against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

A lot of people may not know Kamel now but that will change over the course of the season

Phil Brown

"It has been four to six weeks since we first started speaking to Real Madrid but it is hard dealing with a club of that stature," explained Brown. "In terms of European football they are number one, two or three.

"There are times when you think it is 95% certain and then something happens and it's 50-50 again but we're still working on it.

"Will it happen in time for the Chelsea game on Saturday? I don't know."

Negredo's agent claims his client's preferred destination is Roma, but the Italian Serie A side will not be given long to conclude any deal.

"We are ready to wait for Roma for another two or three days, (sporting director) Daniele Prade knows all this, as he knows the player's choice would be the Giallorossi shirt. Negredo would be honoured to play for Roma."

Hunt earned his 18th international cap in Republic of Ireland's 3-0 defeat by Australia on Wednesday night after being given special dispensation to leave the international set-up to formalise terms in Hull on Tuesday.


Since joining Reading from Brentford on a free transfer in 2005 he has made 173 appearances, scoring 21 goals.

With Hull about to embark on their second season in the top flight, Hunt feels the knowledge garnered from his time at Reading well benefit his new club.

"I know how difficult the second season syndrome in the Premier League can be from Reading, so, hopefully, I can bring my experience of that here," said Hunt.

"The most important thing is to keep the enthusiasm for the game and not take playing in the Premier League for granted.

"It's so exciting and I'm just glad to have that back."

"Stephen is well known in the English leagues and we are hopeful he will add strength to the midfield with regard to scoring goals and providing goals," said Brown.

Reading director of football Nick Hammond said: "Stephen has been very effective in the years he has been at Reading."

"He has made it known that he was ready for a new challenge and this is a good move for all three parties."

The midfielder is the fourth arrival at Hull in what has been a frustrating summer in the transfer market for the Tigers.

Defender Steven Mouyokolo, midfielder Seyi Olofinjana and loan striker Jozy Altidore have joined the club but the Tigers have missed out on a number of high-profile targets, including strikers Frazier Campbell and Darren Bent.

Brown revealed that the signing of French-born forward Ghilas - who Brown reportedly offered Celta Vigo £2m for - represents a success for the club's thorough search for attacking reinforcement.

"Kamel is a product of our scouting network," he said. "We've worked long and hard scanning Italy, Spain, Germany and a few other places.

"A lot of people may not know Kamel now but that will change over the course of the season."

Ghilas, who has picked up 13 caps for his country, passed a medical at the KC Stadium on Tuesday and may be available for Saturday's game.

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