Glasgow Rangers interested in talented Hartlepool United forward

Nathan Thomas celebrates scornig at Barnet.  Picture by Dan Westwell
Nathan Thomas celebrates scornig at Barnet. Picture by Dan Westwell

Craig Hignett will be hoping to put in another part of his Hartlepool United jigsaw if contract talks with Michael Woods come to fruition.

But Pools could be in danger of losing one of their main pieces with a number of clubs keeping close tabs on Nathan Thomas.

Thomas has not just improved under new boss Craig Hignett, he has flourished

The 21-year-old has been watched by Glasgow Rangers during a brilliant run of form and SportMail understands there are Sky Bet Championship clubs interested in the attacking player.

Rangers have just won promotion back to the Scottish Premier League after a four-year absence and Mark Warburton is looking to add to his squad at Ibrox.

That Thomas should be attracting interest will come as no great surprise.

The former Sunderland youth product has been a revelation since his January transfer window switch from Mansfield Town for an undisclosed fee.

It proved an inspired move from then-boss Ronnie Moore and Thomas made an immediate impact by setting up Scott Fenwick’s winner in the 1-0 victory over Wycombe on his debut.

His time under the man who brought him to Pools was quite short-lived with Moore leaving just four games later.

However, Thomas has not just improved under new boss Craig Hignett, he has flourished.

Played as a wide support player for principal striker Billy Paynter, the former Plymouth, Motherwell and Mansfield winger has been effective on either the left or right.

And from his exciting early appearances when he beat players for fun, he has now added a finish to his portfolio.

Thomas scored stunners at Barnet, Leyton Orient and Morecambe, his strkes being goal of the season contenders at the end-of-season awards ceremony.

Hignett will be keen to retain his services and get even more out of him.

The player himself has said much of his form is down to being at a club who wants him and will play him on a regular basis.

Thomas is also benefiting from being back on ‘home soil’, the Teessider has been to both ends of the UK and in the Midlands and wanted to return to Middlesbrough.

Stags boss Adam Murray said at the time of his transfer that he agreed to “let him go with a heavy heart” because of the winger’s personal situation.

All the above factors would suggest that Thomas would not want to move back to the SPL.

However, the prospect of playing for such a major club or in the Championship could be tempting while a sizeable transfer fee may be hard for Pools to turn down.

Hignett will hope the relationship he has with him and the fact he is improving the player will keep him at Victoria Park for the forseeable future.

And the Pools boss will be hoping for some of the same with Woods.

The midfielder has also excelled under Hignett and first-team coach Curtis Fleming and he too has added goals to his game.

Woods was one of five players at Pools whose future was under discussions, along with Rakish Bingham, Michael Duckworth, Dan Jones and Rob Jones.

Dan Jones has since been released and there has been no news on the other four, though there is known to be interest elsewhere in Bingham, Duckworth and Woods.