Gutted Hartlepool United chairman Gary Coxall lays on buses for Pools fans

Hartlepool United's hopes of bolstering their squad with permanent signings have been dealt a major blow after two players rejected moves.

Saturday, 30th January 2016, 8:22 am
Updated Saturday, 30th January 2016, 9:39 am
Luke James celebrates scoring for Peterborough United

But in a welcome move for supporters, chairman Gary Coxall has announced the club will foot the bill for fans travelling to away games for the rest of the 2015-16 campaign.

Coxall, “gutted” after missing out on his transfer targets, said it is a gesture to show how “serious” owners JPNG are.

The Pools supremo insisted the travel offer and transfer setbacks didn’t mean that the club would halt attempts to make permanent signings before Monday’s 11pm deadline.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The loan market looks the more likely though, with Peterborough United’s Luke James the No 1 target.

Coxall told SportMail: “We had two bids accepted by clubs but both players rejected the move.

“I am gutted about the transfer set back but we are still working on deals.

“We are working on a loan deal,” added Coxall.

On the free travel offer, he added: “It is a gesture to show how serious we are about this club.

“I am gutted that we haven’t been able to add to the squad so far and I just wanted to show supporters how much they mean to us.”

A deal to bring back James - who left Pools for League One Posh in the summer of 2014 for £500,000 - back to Victoria Park on a half-season loan deal remains on the table.

And Pools remain hopeful of being able to thrash out a deal to sign the 21-year-old striker.

It comes as Pools had bids for two players accepted but the players in question rejected a move north to play for Pools.

SportMail can reveal Pools have made bids for Oxford United striker Danny Hylton, Stockport forward Kristian Dennis, currently on loan at Macclesfield, and Oldham Athletic striker Rhys Murphy.

Pools were also in for midfielder Nigel Atangana, who recently moved from Portsmouth to Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee, while former midfielder Gary Liddle, currently playing for Bradford, has also been on the club’s radar.

Carlisle United are also tracking 29-year-old Liddle, who left Pools in 2012 to sign for Notts County but he is understood to want to stay in League One.

Dennis has courted interest given his impressive form for National League side Macclesfield, with Chesterfield the frontrunners to sign him.

Pools manager Ronnie Moore has also spoken of his frustration at not having made any further headway following the deals to sign Mansfield winger Nathan Thomas and Bristol Rovers striker Ellis Harrison on loan.

But Moore has told SportMail he will not sign a player just for the sake of it.

Moore said: “You can’t dive in for the sake of diving in, but we are trying.”

JPNG took charge of Pools in June last year, taking over from Increased Oil Recovery (IOR), who had been in charge at the Clarence Road club for 18 years.a