Hull City have reacted to Newcastle United interest in Robert Snodgrass by protecting their position via a contract extension.

However, by triggering a one year extension clause that was contained in the winger/attacking midfielder’s original three year deal they have simply ensured that the player can’t leave for nothing in the summer.

In the summer the chaos at Hull City saw the club lose both the manager (Steve Bruce) and some key players, including Mohamed Diame.

Their wafer thin squad was strengthened to some extent with late action by Mike Phelan after he was eventually installed as a replacement – but he has revealed in more detail just how haphazard the contract situation had become at the club generally.

Robert Snodgrass was only one of six first team players who been allowed to go into this season in the final year of their contracts, though now Mike Phelan says that the other five as well as Snodgrass, have now had a one year extension triggered as well – these players being Hernandez, Livermore, Maguire, Dawson and Robertson.

However, this is just an exercise in buying time and preventing players signing pre-contract agreements with other clubs once the transfer window opens, which could/would have seen them leave for nothing in the summer.

Newcastle were heavily linked with Robert Snodgrass earlier this week and little doubt that Hull’s best player (and top scorer with five PL goals – next best has two) would be an asset to Rafa Benitez, both this season and potentially in the Premier League next year.

The Scottish international has already turned down a new contract at Hull and interesting to see what Hull’s owners would do if Newcastle put the money down in January, especially with bottom club Hull looking nailed on to go down.

Mike Phelan Friday 23 December:

 “What we have done, not just with Robert Snodgrass but a few players here, we have exercised the options that were in their contracts.

“We are ongoing in negotiations with these players and at this present moment in time they are registered at this football club.

 “That we hope to change, we hope to get them on the (longer) deals that they deserve and we’ll keeping working on it.

 We’ve got a few (as well as Robert Snodgrass) – Harry Maguire, Jake Livermore, Andy Robertson, Abel Hernandez, Michael Dawson and Josh Tymon. We have taken care of all those issues (triggering one year extensions up to June 2018). It’s a slow process but they’re all on contracts now so we can get down to the business over Christmas.

 “I would like to think all of them will commit, I don’t see why not….

 “Some are gaining attention from elsewhere purely because of their performances but at this moment in time, they’re with us and hopefully we can keep them.”