THE new manager of Hartlepool United will almost certainly have to sign a goalkeeper ahead of next season – although Scott Flinders insists he will remain at Victoria Park until told otherwise.
With Colin Cooper set to be appointed as successor to John Hughes this week, there has also been speculation linking Player of the Year Flinders with a move away from Pools.
The 26-year-old netminder has been linked with League One Bristol City and Rotherham United as well as Championship outfit Leicester City, while there has also been interest from Premier League West Bromwich Albion.
Flinders, who has a year to run on his current deal with Pools, said: “I’m a Hartlepool player until someone tells me otherwise – it’s out of my control.
“I’m under contract and I’ll be back in July fighting to get this club back in to League One.”
He went on: “It can still be an exciting season for the club.
“If we can add some new faces then I don’t see why we can’t challenge for promotion.”
Many, though, feel that a player of Flinders’ ability is deserving of a grander stage than League Two.
And, while the custodian refuses to court interest from elsewhere, he nonetheless admits to retaining an ambition to test himself in a higher division.
“I will always have the ambition to play at a higher level,” he said. “The minute you lose that then you can become stale.”