Hartlepool United miss out on Bristol Rovers forward as 25-year-old completes Tranmere Rovers switch
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Saunders has signed an 18-month deal after choosing Prenton Park over a return to the Suit Direct Stadium – having spent time with Hartlepool during their promotion winning campaign of 2020-21.
Saunders is a player who Keith Curle had looked to bring in as we head towards the close of the transfer window, admitting the offer made to Bristol Rovers for his signature, and the demands of the player, were matched with Tranmere before the former Fleetwood Town man opted, instead, for a move to Merseyside.
"Harvey Saunders is going to Tranmere,” Curle told The Mail ahead of Hartlepool’s fixture with Colchester United.
"He was a player that we were interested in. Both clubs agreed a fee. The fee was exactly the same. The players’ wages demands were met exactly the same by both football clubs. The player’s preferred option was Tranmere. So there’s nothing I can do about it.
"We’re paying the money with wages and fees. Both offers were accepted, but it was down to the player.”
Saunders spent a brief loan spell at the Suit Direct Stadium in 2021, making two appearances for the club when on loan from Fleetwood.
Since then, he followed manager Joey Barton to the Memorial Stadium, making over 40 appearances for Bristol Rovers.
Barton had suggested to Bristol World recently the 25-year-old was set to leave the club with offers on the table.
“There’s been a few sniffing around him,” he said.
"It will be him and his agent I think. He’s a great lad and he is desperate to go and play. I kind of want to keep him because we’re a little bit short in areas but it’s not the right thing for the kid.
“He’s desperate to get on and get playing regularly, I think he’s going to have opportunities to do that."
And that option is with Tranmere, who secured Saunders’ signature for an undisclosed fee leaving Curle and his recruitment team left to turn to other alternatives in the transfer market.