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Hull City were granted permission to open talks with West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long on Thursday after having an undisclosed offer for the Irishman accepted. Hull completed the signing of Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic from Everton on Wednesday for a reported club-record initial fee of £6.5 million ($10.6 million, 7.8 million euros) and are now pressing ahead to further strengthen their strike-force.

"We began talking to Shane about a new contract last spring and, during the ongoing negotiations, we made him two offers which would have significantly increased his salary," West Brom sporting director Richard Garlick told the club's website.

"However, despite our best endeavors, Shane has declined to sign a new contract. Shane effectively only has 18 months left on his deal and with him no closer to accepting our terms and then Hull making an acceptable offer, we felt it was in the club's best interests to accept the bid."

Jelavic could end up costing Hull £7.5 million, if Steve Bruce's side avoid relegation from the Premier League, and British media reports suggested that Long will cost £7 million in a similar type of deal. Long, 26, began his professional career with Irish club Cork City and joined Reading in 2005.

Reading were promoted to the Premier League in his first season at the Madejski Stadium and he spent six years at the club before joining West Brom in a £6 million deal in August 2011. He has won 43 caps for the Republic of Ireland, scoring 10 goals, and was a member of the squad that competed at the 2012 European Championship.

Jelavic, meanwhile, has written an open letter to Everton's fans in which he explains that he decided to leave the club in the hope of securing a berth in Croatia's World Cup squad.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Everton fans from the bottom of my heart for their support," he wrote, in a message published by regional newspaper the Liverpool Echo.

"Playing for Croatia is something I also take huge pride in and with a World Cup on the horizon I was in the situation of needing to play more games to make sure I remain in (manager) Niko Kovac's thoughts ahead of the tournament in Brazil."


Hull City failed attempts to bring in Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long has left the club with a $16,000 private plane bill. The Premier League new boys were keen on doing a deal for the West Bromwich Albion striker after learning late on deadline day that his club were willing to let him leave.


The club quickly agreed a £5 million deal with the Premier Leagues’ bottom team, who’ve yet to score this season.


With the transfer window clock ticking down the club even made arrangement for Long to leave the Irish training camp, where he was with preparing for the World Cup qualifiers with Sweden and Austria, to travel back to England for his medical…on the chairman’s private plane.

However after arriving at the club to commence his medical and with just over an hour left on the transfer window clock Hull received a call to say that the deal had been called off with the explanation given being that Steve Clarke, the West Brom manager, had personally intervened to ensure that the striker remains at the Hawthorns.


A decision that not only left Bruce disappointed but the club out of pocket and with little time to add another striker.


Long, who scored 8 goals and created four in the Premier League last season, will now instead focus on holding on to place in the WBA line up although his place in the starting line-up may no longer be assured with the club bringing in record signing Stephane Sessegnon from Sunderland and Victor Anichebe from Everton.


England were left with more questions than answers after being held to a 1-1 friendly draw by the Republic of Ireland at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday in the neighboring countries' first meeting in 18 years. Frank Lampard quickly cancelled out Shane Long's early opener for the visitors, and the lack of further goals meant the score between the sides finished 1-1 for the fourth game in succession. England largely controlled the second half, but manager Roy Hodgson, who saw Daniel Sturridge go off injured, will hope for a more enterprising display in his side's next assignment.

England travel to Rio de Janeiro later this week, ahead of a glamour friendly with 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil on Sunday that will mark the re-opening of the iconic Maracana stadium. Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland, meanwhile, host Georgia in a friendly on Sunday, before an important World Cup qualifier with the Faroe Islands on June 7.

Pre-game, attention had focused on the potential for crowd trouble, as rioting England fans had caused the last encounter between the sides, in Dublin in 1995, to be abandoned after only 27 minutes. There were also concerns that Ashley Cole, England's captain for the night, might have been booed as he was presented with a cap by Hodgson commemorating the 100-game milestone he reached earlier this year. Neither fear materialized, but matters on the pitch proved rather more problematic for the home side, as Ireland took a 13th-minute lead.

Ireland right-back Seamus Coleman was given space to shape an inviting cross into the penalty area and Long leapt above Glen Johnson to steer a fine header inside the far post. England lacked a cutting edge, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain blazing over, but they drew level 10 minutes later through Lampard. Sturridge whipped a hip-high cross into the box from the left and the Chelsea man contrived to bring it down before flicking the ball past goalkeeper David Forde with his right foot. It gave Sturridge an assist on his first England start, but the Liverpool striker's evening did not last much longer as he was stretchered off with an ankle injury. Jermain Defoe took his place.

Hodgson introduced goalkeeper Ben Foster as a half-time substitute, for his first appearance since he reversed his May 2011 decision to withdraw from international football, and England began the second period well. Coleman had to hook clear a Theo Walcott cross from beneath his own crossbar, while Lampard shot wide from distance and Walcott drew a one-handed save from Forde with a skidding low drive.

At the other end, substitute James McClean bent a free-kick narrowly wide, while Foster had a lucky escape after spilling a high cross under pressure from Long and Jon Walters.

England finished the game strongly and Forde twice kept the hosts at bay, rushing out well to block from Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 83rd minute and then saving from Walcott at his near post moments later.