According to the Hull Daily Mail, Norwegian international Markus Henriksen has turned down the offer of a contract extension at Hull City, with his current contract at the KCOM Stadium set to expire at the end of the ongoing campaign.
The Tigers extended the 27-year-old’s contract by a further 12 months back in March 2019 when Nigel Adkins was in charge but, with his present deal set to expire next summer, they currently face the risk of losing him for free.
Henriksen’s future in East Yorkshire has been up in the air since the summer transfer window when he first expressed his desire to pursue a new challenge away from his current club. (h/t Hull Daily Mail)
As per the report, the Tigers were happy to let him go provided their asking price was met but lack of approaches in the market meant that both the club, as well as the player, turned down potential moves before the European transfer deadline in September.
That marked the beginning of a significant fall in grace for the Norwegian international. Not only has he been stripped off the club’s captaincy by Grant McCann but he has turned a complete blind eye to the 27-year-old’s existence at the club, with the manager not showing any eagerness to include him in his plans moving forward.
Henriksen has failed to make even a single appearance for the Tigers this term and, suffice to say, his latest contract refusal clearly points to an exit in January.
The former Rosenborg and AZ Alkmaar midfielder has made it clear that he is available for selection (h/t Hull Daily Mail) but, with McCann completely overlooking him for the first eleven games, it doesn’t look like things are going to take any dramatic turnaround in the positive direction.
The midfield general has made 92 appearances for Hull City in all competitions since his move to the KCOM Stadium from Alkmaar back in the 2016-17 season when the Tigers were in the Premier League but it is quite clear that his time is coming to an end, with McCann preferring the likes of George Honeyman, Jackson Irvine and Daniel Batty ahead of him.
To put things into perspective, Markus Henriksen might choose to play out his contract at Hull City and leave for free next summer but the Tigers shouldn’t wait that long to sort out this situation, given that it could affect the morale of the squad in the long run.
Plus, it would be a shame if the Tigers end up losing him on a free transfer at the end of the season because an international footballer like him is certainly good enough to command millions of pounds in the market, despite his current contract situation.
To that end, they should make an arduous attempt to get him off their books in January, itself, even if it means moving him on for a cut-price fee. That, of course, would be better than letting him leave for absolutely nothing in the summer.
Given that Henriksen is not a part of McCann’s plans moving forward, it hardly makes any sense for the Tigers to pay him wages for doing next to nothing at the club and selling him would certainly free up some valuable funds to initiate a contract renewal drive.
With several mainstays like Jackson Irvine, Kamil Grosicki, Jarrod Bowen, Eric Lichaj and Kevin Stewart out of contract next summer, the Tigers need to move quickly to secure the futures of some of their key players and offloading Henriksen in January would certainly be a step in the right direction.
All in all, Hull City getting rid of Markus Henriksen during the mid-season trading period would make perfect sense for all parties involved and it is something that the hierarchy should have on top of their priority list.
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