Hartlepool Utd linked with Michael Brown, Jonathan Greening, David Prutton and Rob Earnshaw

LINKED: Rob Earnshaw
LINKED: Rob Earnshaw
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HARTLEPOOL United boss Colin Cooper is looking to add experience to his central midfield options with three former Premier League midfielders on the radar.

Michael Brown, Jonathan Greening and David Prutton have all been heavily linked with the Sky Bet League Two club and Cooper admits it is an area of the field he is looking to strengthen.

Leeds United v Nottingham Forest. Leeds player Noel Hunt is tripped by Jonathan Greening...21st April 2014 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Leeds United v Nottingham Forest. Leeds player Noel Hunt is tripped by Jonathan Greening...21st April 2014 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Another name in the frame is striker Rob Earnshaw with the 33-year-old former Welsh international on a free after leaving Blackpool.

Cooper wasn’t confirming any names but did stress he is looking to add one or two more experienced players to the Pools squad.

So far Pools have signed experienced defenders Matthew Bates and Stuart Parnaby following the release of Andy Monkhouse and Simon Walton, while James Poole and Antony Sweeney turned down new contract offers.

When SportMail put the four names to Cooper, he said: “They are all good players and people who have had very good careers.

Hartlepool-born Michael Brown is a potential signing for Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper

Hartlepool-born Michael Brown is a potential signing for Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper

“All people who can handle a football and who would add something to Hartlepool United.

“If I could add them four to the two I have got, I would be a happy man,” smiled Cooper.

Cooper added: “The reality, goodness only knows, but I am trying to add some good players with a good mentality.

“People that have been round the block a wee bit but still have that real desire to win and not just let their careers come to an end.

Sheffield Wednesday..........David Prutton

Sheffield Wednesday..........David Prutton

“We are short of experience, we know that.

“With Matthew [Bates] and Stuart [Parnaby] we have added some good experience. Do we need one or two more older heads in the building? Maybe.

“I still want people who have a hunger and desire and that can be a 17-year-old or a 37-year-old.

“I have no problem with that, along as they can fulfil my philosophies, handle a football and have a will to win and a will not to lose, then it doesn’t matter who they are.

Colin Cooper

Colin Cooper

“But they are smashing names and if I had a few of those in my squad we would be alright,” added Cooper.

He was speaking to SportMail at the club’s Spanish training base at La Cala Resort.

Earlier in the week, the Pools gaffer told how he was also looking to add leaders to his squad and the three midfield names would all fit into that category.

Added experience in the centre of the pitch alongside Brad Walker, who impressed in his debut season, would also help further develop the 18-year-old’s game.

Hartlepool-born Brown, 37, is a combative central midfielder with a wealth of experience, having played for Premier League sides Manchester City, Tottenham and Fulham and Wigan when they were in the top flight.

Brown also enjoyed two spells at Portsmouth and was last season playing Championship football for Leeds United and despite getting on in years is still feeling fit and ready for a new challenge.

SportMail understands Cooper is still looking to entice Brown - first linked to Pools in May - to Victoria Park ahead of next season’s assault on Sky Bet League Two.

Ex-Manchester United, Boro, West Brom, Fulham and Nottingham Forest midfielder Greening, 35, is also available on a free after leaving Forest at the end of the season.

Scarborough-born Greening has a wealth of experience and after starting his career with York City, soon moved up the leagues, joining Manchester United for three seasons, where he won the Champions League in 1999.

He then joined Steve McClaren at Boro in 2001 before also playing in the Premier League for West Brom and Fulham, before Greening joined Forest where he has been for the past three seasons.

Meanwhile, Hull-born Prutton, 32, is also available on a free after being released by Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season.

Prutton has previously played for Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Leeds United, Colchester United and Swindon Town, as well as representing England at U-21 level.