Transfer latest: Football League trio battle to land Hartlepool United's Michael Woods, as wideman could also be shown the door

Three Football League clubs are battling to land Hartlepool United midfielder Michael Woods before Wednesday night's transfer deadline.

Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 6:00 am
Michael Woods. Picture by Gareth Williams/
Michael Woods. Picture by Gareth Williams/

Pools are reluctant to let in-form Woods leave this month, but due to their financial plight the club may be forced to accept an offer.

As things stand, a trio of League Two sides are interested in signing the 27-year-old, who has scored seven goals in his last nine.

Stevenage and Exeter City have had the player watched in recent weeks and are two of the trio in the race to sign Woods, while League One Portsmouth are also rumoured to be keen.

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Woods is a player who manager Craig Harrison is desperate to hang on to, along with midfield partner Nicky Featherstone, but his hands may well be tied, should deals be put on the table.

The January window slams shut at 11pm tomorrow night and despite the fact Pools and the National League can act outside that, all Football League clubs must have their business concluded by that point.

And with plenty of interest in a whole host of players in the Pools ranks, it looks set to be a busy few days behind the scenes at the club.

Another player who looks certain to depart in the near future is Nicky Deverdics.

The former Dover Athletic man has cut a frustrated figure at Victoria Park this season having played much of his football at left-back earlier on in the campaign.

And despite getting a chance to influence further up the field in recent weeks, he has done little to get the pulses racing.

But his inconsistency does not appear to have put off potential takers interest growing in the Newcastle-born 30-year-old.

Harrison was still in the dark over the weekend as to whether he would have his squad weakened before the close of the window.

But it is looking increasingly likely that player will be sacrificed to keep the club running.

The Mail understands the situations of Liam Donnelly, Rhys Oates, Jake Cassidy and Scott Loach are all being watched closely by league clubs.

Loach, who only signed a two-year deal at the Vic in the summer, is thought to be keen to remain at the club, despite all of the off-field issues which have arisen in the last two months.

On the financial front, while it is understood a tax bill will be covered by the money received from the Just Giving page, the clock is ticking again for Pools to find the money to pay other invoices and the player and staff wages for next month.

Should the club be unable to make ends meet over the next four weeks, administrators may well be called in.

And with the club not owning the ground, actual assets are low.

Should administrators be unable to cover costs the club could well be liquidated soon after the onset of administration.

That scenario would see Pools taken out of the league, and dropped three levels to the Evo-Stik as of next season.