Hartlepool United eye TWO deals as door is opened for midfield duo to exit

Midfielder Conor Newton has seen his first team chances limited at Hartlepool United.
Midfielder Conor Newton has seen his first team chances limited at Hartlepool United.

Hartlepool United have set their sights on landing at least TWO new players with the door left ajar for two midfield departures.

The Mail has learned that Conor Newton and Lewis Hawkins have been told they can leave this month - with manager Craig Hignett expecting one of them to be out the door before Saturday's trip to Ebbsfleet United.

Lewis Hawkins has made just one appearance for Pools this season. He spent a month on loan at York City before Christmas.

Lewis Hawkins has made just one appearance for Pools this season. He spent a month on loan at York City before Christmas.

"Maybe. Maybe one will leave this week. I can't see anyone else going," said the manager when asked about outgoings.

Since being signed by Craig Harrison in the summer of 2018, Newton has struggled to make an impact at Victoria Park.

Apart from a brief spell at the back end of last season under Matthew Bates, the former Newcastle United trainee has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Pools starting XI.

This season the 27-year-old has made 15 appearances but just two of three of those have been starts. And Newton, who is thought to be one of the higher earners in the squad, is yet to complete 90 minutes under any of the three managers who have taken charge of the team this campaign.

Hawkins' possible departure is a little more of a surprise.

The man returned by Richard Money before Christmas from a loan spell at York City was seen as a favourite of Hignett's during in his first full spell in charge of the side.

Hawkins has been attracting interest from the National League North, where he impressed under former Pools man Sam Collins at Bootham Crescent.

As the manager stated at least one of the duo is likely to leave and if a suitable offers comes in for both, Hignett is not expected to stand in either men's way.

One player who is not expected to leave this week is defender Luka Murphy.

Rumours have been circulating Pools have accepted an offer for the 16-year-old from Premier League Fulham, with a number of other top flight sides sniffing around the talented youngster.

Those reports, at this stage, seem premature, with hopes still high the teenage central defender will remain at the Super 6 Stadium beyond the end of the month.

On incomings, Hignett is hopeful Pools can get some deals done, with a central midfielder thought to be at the very top of his list of priorities.

"Hopefully we can add one or two more before the end of the season," said Hignett.

"We are just having a talk about things at the minute. We know what we need and we know where we need it.

"We have got some targets in mind - there will probably be one or two bits of business this week.

"Whether they are loans or permanent we will see."

He continued: "We know we need a couple more. Getting them could be difficult.

"It might be that we have to wait until the end of the season but we will do what we can."