Liam Donnelly knocks back Pools contract to seal Scottish Premiership deal

Liam Donnelly in action for Pools last season.
Liam Donnelly in action for Pools last season.

Hartlepool United defender Liam Donnelly has signed a deal with Scottish Premiership outfit Motherwell.

The Northern Ireland under-21 skipper knocked back the chance to extend his Pools stay and instead opted to head north of the border to join former Victoria Park teammate Trevor Carson at Fir Park.

Despite Donnelly's deal coming to end this month, Pools still receive a development fee for the player, who was signed by current director of football Craig Hignett from Premier League side Fulham in August 2016.

In a statement released to the club website, the fee changing hands was described as "undisclosed", although Pools are thought to have banked a significant fee due to the player's development during his time at the Vic, especially on the international stage, and down to the number of first team games played by the defender.

The statement reads: "Liam Donnelly has this afternoon completed a move to Scottish Premier League outfit Motherwell for an undisclosed fee.

"The Northern Ireland Under-21 international travelled to Scotland on Wednesday to undergo a medical and now all terms have been agreed to confirm his switch to Fir Park.

Donnelly with Pools fans.

Donnelly with Pools fans.

"Donnelly joined Pools in the summer of 2016 after impressing on trial following his release from Fulham and he went on to make 62 appearances for the club, scoring three goals.

"Pools were keen to extend Donnelly’s stay at Victoria Park and a new contract was offered to the 22-year-old defender at the end of last season.

"Everyone at the club would like to thank Liam for his efforts and wish him all the best for his future career."

Speaking to Motherwell's club website, Donnelly said: "I am delighted to get this over the line.

"I have known about it for a while, talks have been ongoing. I can't wait to get started.

"Motherwell's a massive club. How well they did last season was unbelievable. I want to kick on with the lads this year and hopefully improve on it."

International ambitions were a huge factor for Donnelly's move north, especially having seen Carson get the call to the full squad while with the Steelmen.

"It was a massive factor for me," he said.

"Trev has been unbelievable in his time here, he has made massive strides forward.

"I have the same aspirations as him. I want to get the call into the main squad like him."

Pools also offered deals to Devante Rodney and Nicky Featherstone.