Luke James not in Hartlepool United squad for trip to Wimbledon.

Luke James in action against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke James in action against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID

WANT-A-WAY Hartlepool United striker Luke James has not been named in today’s squad for the trip to face Wimbledon in Sky Bet League Two.

In the past week, the 19-year-old has handed in two transfer requests to club officials - after the first was rejected - and he has been strongly linked with a big money move to League One side Posh.

Darren Ferguson has already had a bid for the 19-year-old rejected - although it is understood to be not close to the £1m mark reported.

Pools are due to play Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow this afternoon but Colin Cooper will now be without his star striker James for the key match after it was confirmed he is not in the squad, which travelled down from the North East on Friday.

In an interview on Thursday, Ferguson has said both clubs are “still a good bit apart” when it comes to their valuations of the highly-rated teenager who finished as top scorer for Pools last season.

The Clarence Road club are winless after four matches so far in 2014-15, with three straight defeats in League Two and a 6-2 thrashing at Port Vale.

It has been a turbulent week for Pools and the club is in desperate need of picking up a result today.

New loan signing Charlie Wyke starts up front for Pools in place of James, the Boro striker signed a month-long loan deal on Thursday.

Colin Cooper has made three other changes to his team for this afternoon’s Sky Bet League Two game against AFC Wimbledon at The Cherry Red Records Stadium.

Marlon Harewood is back in the line-up for the game.

Tommy Miller returns from a back injury and is restored to the centre of midfield in place of Stuart Parnaby, out with a hamstring problem.

Neil Austin is back at left-back, while Sam Collins returns to central defence.

The club’s other new loan signing Scott Harrison is on the bench.

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders, Duckworth, Collins, Bates (C), Austin, Franks, Miller, Walker, Brobbel, Harewood, Wyke.

Subs: Barber, Richards, Holden, Harrison, Smith, Compton, Woods.

Wimbledon (4-4-2): Shea, Fuller, Kennedy, Moore, Barrett, Bennett (C), Rigg, Bulman, Akinfenwa, Tubbs, Francomb.

Subs: Worner, Phillips, Nicholson, Pell, Harrison, Sainte-Luce, Azeez.

Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire)