Soccer

Hull signs Croatia striker Jelavic from Everton

Hull signed Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic for a reported club-record fee on Wednesday in a deal that is unlikely to appease supporters amid the latest controversy engulfing the club's outspoken Egyptian owner.

Jelavic left Everton, where he had lost his first-team place, to move to Hull for a reported fee of 6.5 million pounds ($10.6 million) on a 3½-year deal. "As soon as the manager called me, I realized straight away that he was really interested in signing me and that it is a great opportunity for me to come here," the 28-year-old Jelavic said.

Jelavic is likely to be joined at the KC Stadium by another forward, Shane Long from West Bromwich Albion, in the coming days as Hull strengthens its attack for the second half of the season as the club battles to avoid relegation.

Hull is 10th in the standings after a solid start to life back in England's top division, but is just five points above the relegation zone. Many fans' delight at their team's start to the season has been tempered by the recent comments of Hull's owner, Assem Allam, who has applied to the Football Association to change the club's official name from Hull City AFC to Hull Tigers.

On Tuesday, he threatened to quit the club within 24 hours if the FA rejects his application. "No one on earth is allowed to question my business decisions. I won't allow it," Allam said in an interview with Sky Sports.

"I'm here to save the club and manage the club for the benefit of the community. It will never be the other way round — take it from me." Allam, who is reported to have injected around 70 million pounds ($115 million) into the northern club since rescuing it from financial ruin in 2010, wants to rebrand Hull to boost its marketability abroad.

Retaining its Premier League status will be key to that appeal, and the signing of Jelavic could clearly help a side that has scored only 22 goals in 21 league games this season. Jelavic has largely been used as a substitute at Everton this season following the loan signing of Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea. He previously played for Hajduk Split, Rapid Vienna and Rangers.

"I can see straight away that there is a lot of ambition here within the club and I hope that we can build on the great start to the season and become a really strong Premier League team over the coming years," Jelavic said.

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