Update on the future of Hartlepool United's Jonathan Franks
The next 48 hours could be make or break for the Hartlepool United future of Jonathan Franks.
Franks' Pools deal ended today and as yet no fresh contract has been signed.
As a result, he will not be available for selection against Wrexham this weekend, unless something is sorted in the next two days.
Talks have been ongoing between the club and the player's representatives since November.
And despite willingness from both parties to get an agreement in place, the club have been unable to sign anything off.
This is due to ongoing off-field issues regarding paperwork, unrelated to the very real risk of administration which looms large over Pools ahead of next week's January 25 deadline.
It is understood that Pools are keen for former Middlesbrough and Ross County wideman Franks to stay on Teesside until May. He could also sign for another month, seeing his deal through to the end of February.
At this stage, though, Franks, an integral part of Craig Harrison's National League starting XI, cannot be re-signed, nor can any other player come through the doors at the Vic this month, or beyond, without a significant change in circumstances.
Franks played 22 games for Pools in his second spell, starting 21 of those.
In that time he netted six goals, the last of which came in the 2-0 win at Torquay at the back end of October.
Franks has been linked with a move to National League North side York City in recent weeks, although his performances are believed to have alerted a number of sides in the fifth tier.
He turned down a move to Sweden in the summer before committing to Pools, after a successful trial period.
Meanwhile, the Mail has learned that Pools had to pull out of talks to land left-back Nathan McGinley from Middlesbrough earlier this month.
Hopes had been high the 21-year-old would end up at Victoria Park before the end of the window, but due to ongoing issues behind the scenes at Pools a deal had to be shelved.
Instead, highly-rated McGinley went on to sign for League Two side Wycombe Wanderers, making his debut last weekend in a 3-1 win over Colchester United.
As we reported last week, Pools had also made enquiries about the possibility of taking Sunderland's England youth international Elliot Embleton on loan.
But the 18-year-old's breakthrough in the Black Cats' first-team picture put an end to any faint hope of that deal going ahead.