Brown ready for Owen fight
Phil Brown has confirmed his interest in strikers Michael Owen and Marc-Antoine Fortune.
Last Updated: 26/06/09 2:27pm
Phil Brown has confirmed his interest in strikers Michael Owen and Marc-Antoine Fortune, although he accepts that he faces competition for both players.
The Hull City manager is looking to bolster his attacking options during the transfer window and has identified his main targets.
He has played down reports of a move for Scott McDonald of Celtic but insists he will have money to spend after steering the club to Premier League survival in 2008/9.
"We have a second season in the Premier League and we need to strengthen. We know which areas we need to strengthen and I have given a shopping list to the chairman," Brown told Sky Sports News.
"We are not in the same market as the top six but we will fight as hard as we can and the chairman has given me a budget that is going to be competitive.
"We will only bring strikers in that will improve the situation and, although Scott (McDonald) has been doing well up there, it is not one we are in contact with."
Fortune impressed during a loan spell with West Brom last season and is set to secure a permanent move away from Nancy this summer.
His agent has admitted that it will come down to a choice between Hull and Celtic, where former Baggies boss Tony Mowbray is now in charge.
"Hopefully it is just between us and Celtic," said Brown. "I imagine there will be one or two waiting in the wings as it is never a done deal until you have put pen to paper.
"We are well interested in Marc. He came to West Brom last season and gave a good account of himself, and we are trying to improve our strike-force.
"Celtic are a big club and his former manager has gone up there so that is an attractive proposition and we have got a fight on our hands."
One or two eyebrows were raised when Brown recently stated that he was keen on out-of-contract Newcastle forward Owen.
But the Tigers chief maintains that he is serious about the England striker and hopes to hold talks with him when he officially becomes a free agent at the start of July.
He explained: "It is obviously a very attractive proposition for Hull City. To bring an England international here would be a great achievement for the club.
"It was not a throwaway comment, it is a genuine interest, and as a free transfer that would be an interesting prospect for a number of clubs.
"Who knows? It could be a good start for the transfer window for us.
"He is still connected to a football club, we haven't been given permission by that football club to talk to him, so we will honour that.
"But he will be available from 1st July and hopefully Michael will give us the time of day and we can get around a table, then who knows?"