Hartlepool United transfer update - the EIGHT deals that could happen for Pools

As we all know, the transfer window does not strictly apply to Hartlepool United.

Wednesday, 30th January 2019, 11:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th January 2019, 11:53 am
Liam Noble is out of contract in the summer.

Richard Money was overly keen to make sure his business was done by the end of January, new manager Craig Hignett is more relaxed on it.

As part of National League rulebook, the registration of players can be made right up to the "fourth Thursday of March" - which this year happens to be March 28 this year.

Luke Molyneux (right) and Nicke Kabamba (centre) both see their loan deals come to an end in the summer.

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So while Premier League and Football League clubs will be scrabbling around for the next few hours, Pools, in theory, could have their feet up. That's not the way of Hignett, his staff or those above him.

The boss strives for improvement at Pools and has not given up hope of making a considerable enhancement to the club's poor National League position, even if a tilt at the top seven looks a little ambitious.

Here's a look at deals that could be done at the Super 6 Stadium over the next few weeks.

Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett could be set for a busy few weeks at Pools in the transfer market.

Luka Murphy - will he stay or will he go?

The teenage defender has been subject to considerable interest from the Premier League over the last six months with Fulham and Wolves making plays for the centre-half this season.

The west London outfit seemed to be in the driving seat last week but a deal failed to materialise.

Hopes are high the player will commit to Pools for the long term, although if an offer comes the club and player's way that works for all parties, it would be no shock to see the youngster move on to pastures new.

Nicky Featherstone played as a deep-lying midfielder for Pools against Braintree on Saturday.

Will Pools find a replacement for Jake Cassidy?

Hartlepool have already jumped into the market for Nicke Kabamba, and after the first few weeks he looks like a very shrewd addition to Pools' ranks.

With Jake Cassidy out the door, Pools have just Niko Muir as a real central striker option to challenge the Havant loan man, with Luke James as back up.

Hignett could opt to bring in another forward but he wants to get the 'right' player, with owner Raj Singh also keen to strike the 'right' deal.

Lewis Hawkins to the National League North?

The player has seen gametime at the Super 6 Stadium severely limited this season, so much so that he has played more minutes for York City in a short loan spell than he has for Pools.

Just one start, which lasted 50 or so minutes, at Gateshead is all the midfielder has to show for his efforts.

It seems certain he will leave and a move back to the National League North would seem the obvious step.

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Conor Newton's time at Pools coming to an end?

Another who can leave, if the deal suits both parties.

A player who has not lived up to expectations since signing on the dotted line in the summer of 2017.

There is a good player there but it really has not been seen at Victoria Park.

Midfield enforcer recruitment drive stepped up?

Former manager Richard Money had this towards the top of his list of priorities - it's an area Hignett is also looking to strengthen.

Carl Magnay was used in the role by Money, it's Featherstone who got the deeper responsibilities on Saturday.

Long term, it's not something that suits the midfielder, but should the right player not be available, this could be something better addressed in the summer.

Defender search widened?

Adding some quality to the backline is something Hignett is keen to do.

Player shortlists have already been drawn up, targets identified and plans formulated in the centre and full-back on both sides.

This area is likely to see more change in the summer, than before the end of March. Contract negotiations at Pools and other clubs could have a massive say on when and who turns up at Pools in this department.

Will another wide player come to the club?

It was another area earmarked by Money.

Pools have Luke James, Luke Molyneux, Josh Hawkes and Ryan Donaldson who can all play in attacking positions behind striker Nicke Kabamba.

I wouldn't rule it out but at this stage would seem unlikely.

Will contract extensions be negotiated/triggered/loans made permanent?

Some massive decisions need to be made on players already at the club.

Donaldson was given the armband last week but finds himself out of contract in the summer. It would be a surprise if Pools did not look to extend that deal. Similarly with Liam Noble and Scott Loach.

Loan deals must also be looked at with Michael Raynes, Molyneux and Kabamba all playing for their futures and out of contract at their parent clubs in the summer.

Raynes and Kabamba would appear to be the easiest deals to do.