Hartlepool line up double swoop for Sunderland youngster and Motherwell striker

Michael Ledger in action for Sunderland U21 against Manchester United U21.  Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Ledger in action for Sunderland U21 against Manchester United U21. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool United are eyeing up a double swoop for Sunderland defender Michael Ledger and ex-Gateshead striker Ryan Bowman after giving boss Craig Harrison the go-ahead to strengthen his squad after Padraig Amond’s exit.

Striker Amond is expected to seal his move to Newport County today after telling Pools last week that he no longer wanted to play for the club.

The 30-year-old will put pen to paper with the League Two side in a deal which could be worth up to £40,000 for Pools.

Harrison and transfer chief Paul Watson have quickly drawn up a list of potential replacements, with Bowman among the targets.

The 25-year-old forward is still has a year left on his contract at Motherwell.

Bowman has not been an automatic starter for the Scottish Premier League side at the start of the season, but came off the bench at half-time in their game on Saturday against Ross County to help inspire them to a much-needed victory.

A return to England may appeal for the Carlisle-born striker, who has plenty of National League experience from his spells at Darlington, Torquay and Gateshead, where he scored 19 goals in 48 appearances before moving north of the border.

If not, Pools have a number of other irons in the fire for strikers as Harrison looks to add some quality to his frontline and take the pressure off Jake Cassidy.

Pools are also hoping to strengthen their backline this week, with Sunderland youngster Ledger on the verge of a loan move to Victoria Park.

The promising 19-year-old had a successful loan spell in Norway last season before returning to Sunderland this summer.

Ledger played every minute for Viking Stavanger in the Norwegian top flight during his 13-game spell, catching the eye of scouts.

The central defender had hoped to impress new boss Simon Grayson and force his way into the first-team picture at Sunderland.

But the signing of Tyias Browning on loan from Everton, along with John O’Shea penning a new contract, has seen him slip down the pecking order, even though the futures of Lamine Kone and Papy Djilobodji remain uncertain.

Harrison is keen to add more depth to his defence, after former Sunderland youngster Louis Laing – a summer signing – limped off after half an hour against Bromley on Saturday with a hamstring injury.

Laing has struggled for form at the start of the season, and while Harrison has Scott Harrison and Carl Magnay, SportsMail understands he is hoping to bring in another two centre-halves on temporary deals.

As well as Ledger, Pools are understood to be scouting the Scottish scene for an experienced defender to try to shore up a backline that has failed to keep a clean sheet in five league games this season.