COLIN Cooper has revealed he made a “really strong effort” to sign Michael Brown for Hartlepool United before he opted to join Port Vale, writes RICHARD MENNEAR.
Cooper said 37-year-old Brown would have “loved” to have signed for League Two Pools but his family is settled in the North West and that was a big factor in his decision.
Speaking after the weekend win at Bradford Park Avenue, Cooper said he held several positive conversations with the experienced midfielder over the summer.
But in the end Hartlepool-born Brown opted to sign for League One side Port Vale, managed by Micky Adams, and his signing was announced on Friday.
SportMail first revealed back in May that Pools were interested in signing the former Premier League midfielder and Cooper has been tracking him all summer.
Cooper told SportMail: “I make no bones about it, I spoke to Michael at length on five or six occasions.
“I know his links to the town, hence when I knew he was available I made a real strong effort to put Hartlepool’s case to Michael.
“I have to say, he responded very positively to what we were talking about.
“The downside, when you are a footballer of Michael’s age, is that he has a young family and lives south of Manchester.
“So, without any disrespect to Micky Adams and Port Vale, that is half an hour down the road and we are a bit further away.
“But he spoke very positively about what he has heard about what we are trying to do and he said - were it not for the geographic differences - he would have loved to have been a part of it.”
Pools of course play Port Vale away in the Capital One Cup in the first week of the season.
Cooper added: “I said to him ‘I hope you have a nightmare when you play against us but I wish you all the best for the rest of the season’,” smiled Cooper.
Brown 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.
He enjoyed two spells at Portsmouth and was last season playing Championship football for Leeds United.
Former Premier League midfielders Jonathan Greening - who Cooper has been tracking since last year - and David Prutton have also been heavily linked to Pools and remain firmly on the manager’s radar.
Cooper has previously told SportMail that he is looking to add one or two more experienced players, especially in midfield.
Cooper added: “There are still irons in the fire and I am still speaking to people, we’ll just see how things go over the next couple of weeks.
“Also, in the next 10 days, I would suggest clubs will start making their players available for long-term loans and we will be looking at that as well.
“Hopefully we will have a few new faces in a couple of weeks.”