Carlisle boss on speculation linking 17-goal forward Hallam Hope to Blackpool

Hope scored 17 times for Carlisle last season
Hope scored 17 times for Carlisle last season
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Carlisle United boss Steven Pressley wants the future of reported Blackpool target Hallam Hope to be clarified sooner rather than later.

READ MORE: The new improved Simon Grayson: I'm older, wiser, better ... balder!

The forward, who netted 17 goals for the League Two side last season, is understood to have been a target for the Seasiders under previous boss Terry McPhillips.

However, it remains unclear whether Pool's interest remains now Simon Grayson is in charge.

Either way, Pressley says he wouldn't stand in his way if he were to leave but wants it to be resolved as soon as possible.

“Hallam’s a permanent player for us here, and you really can only sign five loans, with one coming in later this week in the midfield position," he told the News & Star.

“We might sign a secondary loan player in midfield and that would only leave us three attacking loans.

“How we utilise the loans will be dependent on whether Hallam’s [here] or not.

“We’ve got a number of things to consider. I’d really love it resolved sooner rather than later.”

On Blackpool's reported interest, Pressley added: “There’s obviously been a change in management there and I’m not sure how that’s going to affect their transfer policy.

“We’re obviously aware that if they reach the valuation we expect, Hallam would like the opportunity to speak.

“At this stage there’s still nothing sure on that. I would love him to stay here but we understand his ambitions.”

The speculation clearly hasn't affected Hope, who scored a spectacular goal in their recent pre-season friendly against Scottish side Hibernian.

Pressley joked: “I said to him, ‘You’ve put a couple of noughts on your transfer fee!

“When I spoke about Hallam recently, I said Hallam had expressed a desire, if the right opportunity was to come, to further his career. I accept that, no problem.

“The one thing is that I expect him to apply himself properly if he remains here, and while he’s here. On that I have got absolutely no complaints. He’s been superb in the training thus far and out there [against Hibs] I thought he looked excellent, really sharp, full of confidence and energy.

“I hope that Hallam does remain, but if he doesn’t then I have no complaints about his attitude, that’s for sure.”

Earlier this week Grayson revealed bids had already been submitted for two players prior to his arrival at the club.

One of those bids is believed to be for Rangers striker Ryan Hardie, who Pool are looking to sign on a permanent basis.

But the new boss told The Gazette those potential moves are now on hold.

When asked if there had been any further movement, Grayson said: “No, not really. When I came into the club I was aware a couple of offers were already in for players.

“I’ve just spoken to the representatives of the clubs to tell them let me get this game out of the way, let me give me the opportunity to this group of players as well, and probably by the weekend I’ll have made a decision if I want to go ahead with the players we’re looking at.

“One or two players we’ve been linked with are not players maybe I’ve had a great insight into but I’ll certainly been doing a lot of research.”