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Peterborough interest turns striker's head
Luke James, the Hartlepool United striker, has submitted a transfer request.
The teenager, top scorer last season with 16 goals, has been attracting interest from Peterborough in recent weeks.
Posh, who signed Jack Baldwin from Pools in January, are seeking a new striker following the £5m sale of Britt Assombalonga.
James signed a new contract at Victoria Park on the eve of the season, but now wants to leave the club.
A short club statement read: “Pools striker Luke James has today handed in a written transfer request.
“The Club has acknowledged the request but advised Luke that he remains under contract to Hartlepool United. There will be no further comment at this time.’’
James has yet to score in three games this season, with Pools winless ahead of this evening’s home game with Dagenham – the only other side below Pools in League Two.
Transfer requests are rare at Victoria Park – midfielder Ritchie Jones was the last to submit one in 2009, but he soon rescinded it.
Boss Colin Cooper must decide if James is in the right frame of mind to play this evening, but the striker’s head has clearly been turned by Posh’s interest.
Their manager Darren Ferguson claimed he had lodged four bids for players last week.
He said after beating MK Dons at the weekend: “We have been very busy behind the scenes. We made four bids for new players last week and didn’t quite get any of them over the line. I’d be very surprised if one, maybe two players didn’t arrive on Monday.
“We’re after players in various positions. Obviously we had a contingency plan in place for losing Britt.’’
Pools lost to Bury at Victoria Park on Saturday and face tricky away trips to Wimbledon and Cheltenham after this evening’s game.
Cooper said: “Dagenham scored six and conceded six last Tuesday night, and we had the same scenario at Port Vale [in conceding six], but we were a little better on Saturday.
“All you can do it go back to work and work on shape and ways of countering the opponents.
“That’s all we can do, regroup and train hard in preparation for the game.’’
Regardless of the situation with James, Cooper wants to strengthen his squad.
He needs a goalkeeper as back up to Scott Flinders after Andy Rafferty last week was released from his contract to persue a career away from football
And Cooper said: “All I can say is I am working on things and hope it’s happening, but I can’t dictate what other clubs do. Since Tuesday I’ve made an awful lot of phgone calls to try and strengthen, but I can only do it when otherrts decide it’s the time to release or sell players.
“It doesn’t stop me wanting to try, but the frustration is we want it done yesterday and you have to wait until the day after tomorrow.
“I still feel it, but we are not a million miles away and a bit of strength in depth and quality won’t harm anyone.’’
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