Notts County rival Hartlepool United’s hunt for Howard

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HARTLEPOOL United summer transfer target Steve Howard is being chased by League One rivals Notts County, writes CRAIG HOPE.

Neale Cooper has made no secret of his desire to bring a powerhouse frontman to Victoria Park and it is understood that ex-Pools man Howard – out of contract at Leicester City – is among a list of names drawn up by the Pools boss.

The 36-year-old fits the bill for the type of centre-forward Cooper is looking for next season, especially given the pace his attack already boasts in the form of James Poole and Luke James, not to mention the potential return of livewire Sunderland loanee Ryan Noble.

But Howard will have no shortage of League One suitors and Keith Curle’s Magpies – who missed out on the play-offs only on goal difference – are the first to play their hand.

“I’ve not had the opportunity to meet Stevie yet,” said Curle.

“I would like to speak to him though, to find out if our paths could cross.

“If we get the opportunity to sit down together I will try to sell him my vision for the future of this club and see if that ties in with his ambitions.”

Howard began his league career with Pools in 1995 and, over four years, scored 32 times in 162 outings. The Durham-born veteran is back in the North-East for an event at former club Tow Law Town on May 26.