New West Bromwich Albion boss Pepe Mel today walked into the Shane Long transfer saga as Steve Bruce insisted Hull will not bid again unless he is told the striker is available.
Bruce apologised after stories yesterday claimed the Ireland international was set for a medical on Humberside.
And, after Long's wife Kayleah said on Twitter that the 26-year-old will not leave The Hawthorns this month, Bruce played down his chances of landing the forward.
Long almost joined Hull in September before the Baggies pulled the plug on a £6m switch.
The Tigers have been tipped to make another bid for the forward.
But Bruce said: "I'm not going to bid for anybody unless they're available.
"If he became available we would be interested but whether he is…"
Bruce was also linked with a move for Sunderland's former Wolves striker Steven Fletcher.
The Tigers chief apologised to Black Cats boss Gus Poyet and Baggies caretaker head coach Keith Downing for the unwanted headlines.
"The media side of things is different now. We all have to put up with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram," said Bruce.
"It's all right saying Hull City are linked with a player but when they say we've bid, that unsettles everyone.
"I got the shock of my life when I heard 'Shane Long's having a medical.' It's simply not true.
"It puts us in a difficult position because we could be upsetting people.
"If we were to ring up people they could turn around and say 'Shove off'."
Bruce's comments came after Long's wife, who is expecting the couple's second child, replied to a friend on Twitter.
She wrote: "Not going anywhere! Told Shane happy here & with baby on way it not worth the stress when still in contract! He agreed. #happydays"