Exclusive: Former Newcastle United defender on Hartlepool United's radar as Craig Hignett eyes quick-fix deal

Hartlepool United are considering a move for former Newcastle United defender David Edgar.

The Mail has learned that Pools have Canadian international Edgar on their radar as they bid to plug defensive gaps following long-term injuries suffered by Michael Raynes and Carl Magnay, as well as a two-game suspension handed out to Peter Kioso.

Hartlepool United are hoping to tie up a deal for David Edgar next week.

Hartlepool United are hoping to tie up a deal for David Edgar next week.

Edgar has been playing in the American second tier with Ottawa Fury, but is back in the UK in search of a new club.

The 31-year-old, who has been on trial at Bradford City, Sunderland and Carlisle United over the last few weeks, is available on a free transfer.

And he is a name manager Craig Hignett is considering as he looks to avert a defensive crisis ahead of this weekend's trip to Sutton United.

Pools had to cut short a loan for Raynes and send him back to Crewe Alexandra after an Achilles injury ruled the player out for the season.

Magnay, too, is a long-term absentee. The skipper has been out since January 19 with a knee injury, and looks set to be out for a further four to six weeks with the issue.

To add to that Kioso controversially picked up his tenth booking of the National League season on Saturday, which proved to one of many inexplicable decisions made by referee Gareth Rhodes. That means the 20-year-old, a revelation since signing on a free transfer in the summer, will have to sit out TWO games as punishment.

So heading down to Gander Green Lane, as things stand, Hignett has just Myles Anderson and Aaron Cunningham as fit, senior central defenders - even that's pushing it given the fact 21-year-old Cunningham has made just seven professional appearances.

As a result, Hignett is desperate to strengthen in the central area and a permanent switch for Edgar, attracting interest from a number of clubs in the area, or a loan deal from another club are under consideration.

Should no player be signed before Friday's registration deadline, it is likely Hignett will either switch back to a four at the back, or opt to play Kenton Richardson or Mark Kitching as part of his central back three.

Edgar started his career at St James's Park, breaking into the first-team under Glenn Roeder. On his home debut for the Magpies he scored a 25-yard strike against Manchester United and was praised by Roeder for his marking of then Red Devils man Cristiano Ronaldo.

The player, who can operate anywhere across the backline or in midfield, then went on to play for Burnley, Swansea City, Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United, Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps and Nashville.