`

Hartlepool United eye transfer raid for Scottish Premiership defender

Hartlepool United manager Matthew Bates.
Hartlepool United manager Matthew Bates.

Matthew Bates is eyeing a summer move for Ross County centre-half Andrew Davies.

The Mail has learned the Hartlepool United boss has placed former Middlesbrough defender Davies on his shortlist, as he looks to revamp the Pools backline ahead of the new season.

Last week the club secured the services of out-of-contract Myles Anderson and he is not expected to be the only arrival at the back, with the likes of Louis Laing and Scott Harrison told they can leave.

Davies deal in Dingwall is not set to be renewed, after the Staggies suffered relegation from the top flight north of the border.

And at 33, the Stockton-born player is understood to be keen to move closer to home, having started his career at Middlesbrough.

Wages could prove to be an issue for Pools, though, especially with a whole host of other clubs watching Davies’ situation with interest.

Davies made more than 50 appearances for Boro between 2002 and 2008, appearing for England under-21s during his time at the Riverside.

A teammate of Mattew Bates on Teesside, Davies has also played for Queens Park Rangers, Derby County, Southampton, Stoke City, Preston North End, Sheffield United, Walsall, Crystal Palace and Bradford City in a lengthy Football League career.

Davies moved north of the border in 2015 and made 103 appearances for County, scoring on five occasions.

Pools boss Bates, along with the director of football Craig Hignett, are keen to keep the momentum going from the back end of last season by getting plenty of deals done early this summer.

They have a number of enquiries in for players and are waiting back for answers.
Two players who have been asked about are Gateshead duo Danny Johnson and Scott Barrow. The future of the pair remains up in the air. Barrow is thought to be keen to stay at Heed, while Johnson could leave despite full-time football being confirmed.