Welbeck is reported to have been informed by Van Gaal that his action will be limited during the imminent Premier League season, and The Mirror claim Hull are keen to take advantage of the player’s uncertain situation.
Steve Bruce has been monitoring Welbeck’s situation with great interest and is prepared to part with a club record sum in order to bring the 23-year-old to the KC Stadium, with the valuation of the England international a reported £14 million.
Hull are in the market for another striker given that Shane Long looks set to leave the club after just half a season, with the Irishman wanted by nouveau-cash-riche Southampton for a somewhat exorbitant £12 million.
Strength in depth has taken on even greater importance for Hull this season given their commitments in the Europa League, and a move to Humberside would actually offer Welbeck an opportunity to play in continental competition while Manchester United are restricted to domestic action. An odd prospect.
But there is still no doubt that Welbeck would consider a transfer to Hull as beneath him somewhat. Last season he started around 30 times for Manchester United, while he was in England’s first XI at the World Cup. So he could be forgiven for aiming a little higher.
But what options are there for Welbeck? This is where the problem lies. He could stay at Old Trafford and hope loss of form or, heaven forbid, injury to either Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie presents him with a chance.
Or he could bide his time with Manchester United and wait until a club of more prominent standing comes calling. Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham have been linked, but would the Red Devils really consider strengthening a rival for the top four? It would seem unlikely.
Perhaps he ought to swallow his pride and join Hull. A loan move could be the best option - Hull save the significant transfer fee and Welbeck has an opportunity to put himself in the shop window without a long-term commitment.
Watch: The latest Manchester United transfer news
An inevitable outcome
Either way, this speculation about Welbeck’s future will be quite the wrench for Manchester United supporters. He is a well liked player, more regarded for his endeavour than genuine quality, and the vast majority would be sad to see him leave.
He is also a Manchester lad, of course, and has been with the club since the age of just 10. There was, then, much expected of Welbeck upon his ascension to the senior side. But, unfortunately, he has never quite been able to cut it.
Welbeck is the perennial trier - he will run into the ground for his team, and undoubtedly always ‘does a job’. But Manchester United require more than just this, and he needs regular time to take his game to another level. Is he capable of doing so? His next decision should reveal all.
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