Middlesbrough, Sheffield United, Leeds United interest in Hartlepool forward Nathan Thomas

In demand: Nathan Thomas. Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX
In demand: Nathan Thomas. Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX

Hartlepool United could benefit from a bidding war over Nathan Thomas.

The gifted attacker has been linked with a move to newly-promoted Sheffield United, whose manager, Chris Wilder, is known admirer of the 22-year-old.

Another new Championship outfit, Middlesbrough, though via the other direction are also believed to be monitoring the situation, along with Leeds United, who narrowly missed out on the promotion play-offs.

Sky Sports sources claim that the Blades are preparing a £300,000 bid for the skilful left-footer who scored nine goals in an injury-ravaged season at Pools.

Thomas looked set to depart in the January transfer window after starting the season like a house on fire.

A fee approaching £1 million looking a very achievable outcome for Pools for a player who Ronnie Moore had snapped up as a bargain buy from Mansfield Town in the early hours of the January 2016 transfer window.

Thomas was in brilliant form, winning the 2-1 victory at Yeovil almost single-handedly and scoring a ‘worldy’ in the 3-0 romp at Grimsby.

But it all went horribly wrong when he suffered a groin injury at Barnet on the final day of October and subsequent surgery ruled him out for almost three months, ending any chance of him leaving in January.

Thomas scored twice on his return to the side but, not fully fit, he could not recreate the magic he displayed earlier in the campaign.

He was also not inspired by the managerial regime of Dave Jones so Pools, sadly, did not see the best of him. When Jones was sacked, Thomas said he was a player re-born only for a knee niggle to rule him out of the win over Doncaster.

But on his day, Thomas is a stunning player, who can beat opponents as though they are not there and that is what has attracted the interest of Wilder, Steve Agnew and Garry Monk.

The link with Boro is an intriguing one, given Thomas is a born-and-bred Teessider and has supported Middlesbrough since childhood.