Championship club take contract decision on Birmingham City-linked striker

Hull City have triggered the one-year option in Mallik Wilks’ contract. The striker, who has been linked with Birmingham City, was due to be a free agent at the end of next month after enduring a difficult second half of the season.

Wilks has played regularly under Gavin McCann, but after Shota Arveladze was appointed, he only played six minutes in 2022. Indeed, he wasn’t even in the matchday squad for the last 11 matches of championship and looked set for an outing.

However, Arveladze refused to close the door on retaining Wilks and repeatedly asked a 23-year-old who, with 19 goals in the Ligue 1 promotion season, was such a crucial player.

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Speaking at the end of the season, the Georgian revealed: “I’ve already told him and the club that he’s one of the guys we should improve and more of him. That’s how what I think [that he’ll stay] and I hope he will also commit here, but it is a two-pronged will.”

Hull have kept Arveladze’s word and Wilks is now under contract for another season, one of five players whose options have been taken up. Goalkeeper Matt Ingram, defenders Callum Elder and Josh Emmanuel, Wilks and midfielder George Honeyman have all been retained.

The Blues had the former Leeds and Barnsley man as a potential option as they looked to refresh their attacking options.

Hull did, however, release captain Richard Smallwood, the 31-year-old midfielder who spent two seasons with the Tigers – and lead them to promotion. They also confirmed that former England midfielder Tom Huddlestone and striker Tom Eaves have not received new offers. The Blues have yet to reveal their list of released and retained players with the May 21 deadline. Kristian Pedersen and Jeremie Bela are the two biggest names without a contract.

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