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Hull City dealt blow as Eric Lichaj and Jackson Irvine decline contract extensions

Hull City have been dealt a blow ahead of the season restart with the likes of Eric Lichaj and Jackson Irvine having decided against renewing their contracts beyond June 30.

Lichaj has been a key player in the club’s backline since his move from Nottingham Forest in 2018, but he has opted against penning a short-term extension such that he can play the final nine games of the league season.

Australian midfielder Irvine has likewise taken a similar route and the absence of the duo is likely to prove a blow for the Yorkshire outfit, who are currently just above the drop zone by a couple of points.

Alongside the pair, Stephen Kingsley and Marcus Maddison are set to head through the exit door at the end of the month and that is not surprising, given they have been fringe players over the course of the season.

Meanwhile, Barnsley loanee Mallik Wilks will feature in the Tigers’ two Championship fixtures this month, but he is thereafter expected to return to his parent club.

The 21-year-old has expressed his desire to remain with the Tigers for the season, but Barnsley have declined to agree on a suitable extension beyond the current month.

Gerhard Struber’s side are presently rooted to the bottom of the table with 34 points and they are seven points adrift of the Tigers, who are occupying the 21st position.

Wilks has bagged three goals for the Tigers since his January loan move and Barnsley obviously don’t want their graduate to hamper their survival prospects by directing contributing for their relegation rivals.

Hull made the decision to sell their leading players in Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki in January without recruiting quality replacements and they have since been in a free-fall.

The club are winless in 11-straight league games and lost four matches on the bounce before the season was brought to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

The squad has been further depleted ahead of the restart and they have a huge task on their hands to beat the drop. Hull entertain Charlton Athletic at the KCOM stadium this weekend.

The Addicks are currently behind them on the table with a two-point deficit. A fifth-straight league defeat for the club would see Lee Bowyer’s side jump above the relegation zone at their expense.

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