HARTLEPOOL United look set to miss out on the signature of experienced defender Michael Raynes.
Pools boss Ronnie Moore was keen on bringing the 27-year-old in to bolster his defence after Raynes was told he was free to leave Oxford United.
But it is understood Mansfield have agreed an 18-month contract with the centre-back and a deal is expected to be completed this week.
Moore had already secured Sunderland defender Scott Harrison, 21, on a loan deal until the end of the season but he is also looking to add experience at the back.
Raynes, who stands 6ft 4in, has been out of the picture at Oxford since Appleton signed Chey Dunkley in November.
The Manchester-born centre-half has not been named in the match day squad of 18 since.
Appleton last week told the Oxford Mail: “I don’t want to stand in anyone’s way, certainly someone at his age.
“And I think he’s at a point now where he’s looking forward to getting back up north.”
That is set to be Mansfield though, rather than Hartlepool.
Moore told SportMail he is looking to bring in two more players this week, to add to the loan signings of Harrison, Aaron Tshibola and Rakish Bingham.
They are set to be loan deals though ahead of the visit of Cheltenham Town, who have recently added three Liverpool youngsters to their ranks on loan deals.
Moore admitted he was after one of those himself, England Under-20 centre-back Lloyd Jones.
The 19-year-old has been a regular in the Liverpool Under-21 side.
Moore added: “Cheltenham have taken in three lads from Liverpool, including one I tried to get Lloyd Jones, a centre back.
“He chose to go there because favours were warranted from the Under 21 coach.
“They have gone there and it will be a test for us.”
l TICKETS are now on sale for the Sky Bet League Two game against Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow on Saturday, January 17 (KO 3pm).
The Shrews have sent an initial allocation of 300 tickets and they are on sale from the Victoria Park ticket office.
Tickets will remain available until 3pm on Thursday, January 15, after which Pools fans will be able to buy them on the turnstiles prior to kick-off on the day of the game.
Prices: Adults £20, over 65s £15, students £14, juniors (16 and under) £14.