Hartlepool United seek permanent deal for Sunderland defender Harrison

Scott Harrison in action for Pools against Luton in his loan stint earlier this season

Scott Harrison in action for Pools against Luton in his loan stint earlier this season

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HARTLEPOOL United are targeting Scott Harrison and Kaspars Gorkss to bolster their defensive options when the January transfer window opens.

It is understood that Pools are looking to bring back 21-year-old Harrison from Sunderland on a permanent contract, while Latvian international Gorkss is also high on the wanted list.

The experienced centre-back is currently playing for struggling League One side Colchester United.

Gorkss, who stands at 6ft 3in, played for the Essex club at the weekend but he is only on a short term contract and new Pools boss Ronnie Moore is looking to add experience at the back.

In the 1-1 weekend League Two draw with Oxford United, Moore partnered young Dan Jones alongside Matthew Bates in the heart of Pools’ defence.

Afterwards, Moore said the side needed a leader at the back and was looking to bring in two centre-backs when the window re-opens.

Gorkss, who turned 33 in November, would certainly fit that bill with more than 450 games under his belt, plus three promotions, in the English game as well as 66 international appearances.

He won the Latvian League with Ventspils in 2006 and has been promoted to the Premier League with both Reading and QPR, while he has also played for Blackpool and had a loan spell at Wolves.

Harrison, meanwhile, has previously enjoyed two loan spells at Pools. If a deal can be struck with Sunderland, it is likely to include a sell-on clause.

His first stint under former manager Colin Cooper was towards the end of last season and he came back this campaign for a three-month spell, which ended after the 3-1 home defeat to York City in November.

Club officials stressed at the time they were keen to bring him back and that looks set to continue under Moore, who was in the crowd at the recent Sunderland Under-21 match against Celtic alongside assistant manager Sam Collins.

Harrison did not make it off the bench against Celtic, but Collins has always been a big fan.

“Scott improved during his time here, and from his last spell,” said Collins.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with him and tried to help and give him advice, passing on experience from a long career.

“He’s a great kid who wants to do well and works hard.

“I’m not being big-headed here, but he reminds me of myself as a younger player.

“He wants to learn and hopefully he can come back.

“Playing in this division has helped him.

“When I was doing the [caretaker manager’s] job I spoke about it and we need people who will run through a brick wall,” added Collins who was speaking when Harrison’s loan spell ended.

Moore is also looking to boost his central midfield options as well as bringing in a new striker, with new owners TMH 2014 pledging investment in the team when they took over from IOR.