TRANSFER TALK: Future of Luke James remains up in the air as Hartlepool United linked with defender

Luke James comes on as a substitute against Cheltenham Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke James comes on as a substitute against Cheltenham Town. Picture by FRANK REID
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THE future of wantaway Hartlepool United striker Luke James remains up in the air with less than nine hours to go before the transfer window slams shut.

The 19-year-old is the sole transfer target of League One side Peterborough United who have already had one bid rejected for last season’s top scorer and they are expected to come in for James again before the 11pm deadline.

Speaking after the 1-0 weekend defeat to Cheltenham Town, Colin Cooper told SportMail that, as things stood, no deal had yet been agreed.

But Posh say they are playing a “patient game” over James after their first bid, deemed “unacceptable” by Pools, was rejected.

It is understood their original bid wasn’t close to the £1m mark reported but if Peterborough were to up their offer then a deal is likely to be concluded today.

James has handed in two transfer requests and missed three days training over the past fortnight but returned to the squad for the weekend defeat at Cheltenham Town.

As expected, there has been no new signings at Victoria Park so far today.

The loan window and unattached players remain options even when the transfer window closes.

But Pools have today been linked with a move for free agent Connor Essam, who has left Crawley Town after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent.

The defender is available on a free and can now move to any club, even when the transfer window closes.

Pools recently signed central defender Scott Harrison on loan from Sunderland and are reasonably well off defensively, it is further up the pitch that reinforcements are needed.

Crawley chief executive Michael Dunford said: “Connor is going to further his career elsewhere and we would like to thank him for his services to Crawley Town and wish him all the best for the future.”