HARTLEPOOL United have missed out on two potential targets from north of the border, writes CRAIG HOPE.
Both Johnny Hayes and Farid El Alagui were on the radar of Pools boss Neale Cooper, although he would not have made an approach for either player before first seeing them in action.
However, the attacking duo are set to remain in Scotland and will not be moving to England, despite interest from a host of clubs.
El Alagui scored 27 times from 43 games for Falkirk last season but is this summer out of contract.
The French-born Moroccan striker held talks with Pools’ League One rivals Brentford earlier this month, but it now appears likely he will decide between offers from SPL duo Kilmarnock and St Johnstone.
Cooper is aware of El Alagui’s goalscoring exploits during what was his debut season in British football, but the Scot has long since started that he will not sign any player “blind”.
The same rule applied to Hayes, the 24-year-old winger who yesterday completed his move from Inverness CT to Aberdeen.
The former Reading trainee was also on Cooper’s list of potential targets.
Pools could now take trialists with them to Holland when they leave for their pre-season tour next month after Cooper confirmed he is open to the idea.