Hartlepool United transfer news: Big-spending Gillingham and Colchester 'change landscape' of January window
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Second-bottom Hartlepool United are currently battling for their Football League lives on the field, while off the field they try and strengthen their squad with the quality needed to get out of the current situation.
But their rivals at the foot of the table are spending big money, according to one League Two boss, which has changed the landscape for rivals.
Clough said: “We made George Lapslie a couple of what we thought were very good contract offers that his representative turned down.
“Then we received this joint offer from Gillingham for Oli Hawkins and George Lapslie which I believe will rise to six figures if Gillingham stay in the league.
“They both had four or five months left on their contract and I don't think either of them really wanted to leave. But we have to look at it all ways round.
“From the lads' points of view, the financial packages that were put on the table were significantly more than we could get to - and we think we are good payers.”
“They're paying big fees and also matching that with big wages in an effort to avoid going out of the league. It is so tight down there as it is at the top.
“Owners of clubs are no daft and they will look at the two clubs who went down last season and Scunthorpe are now bottom of the National League and Oldham are down there as well.
“It's not just about dropping out the league. It is what are you chances of getting back in?"
Pools boss Keith Curle suggested in the wake of the defeat to Gillingham the club were in negotiations with a further three players, having missed out on two others.
“We’ve brought four people in and we’re still in negotiations with three more which will improve us,” said Curle.
“We missed out on two that went elsewhere but it shows that we’re shopping in the right areas and now we just need to get two or three more over the line.”
However, in addition to that, Curle also hinted there could be a delay over those two or three deals to go through after conceding the club are awaiting a final decision from players.
“We’re not going to be able to attract players just yet. It might be another week, eight, nine days before we get a final decision,” he said.
“We’re in conversations with people that are in other conversations with other football clubs as well. But I'm a good salesman and I've got a reputation that I get the best out of people.”