According to reports from the north-east, in publications such as the Sunderland Echo and Hartlepool Mail, Leeds United are said interested in Hartlepool United youngster Josh Hawkes.

The Hartlepool Mail “understands” that the Whites are one of a quartet of clubs chasing after Hawkes saying in an article that north-east sides Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesbrough are keeping tabs on the youngster and that “Leeds United are also keen on the teenager.”

Hawkes has soared in to ‘Pool’s first team this season, scoring on his full début for the Monkey Hangers’ 2-1 over Bromley. In total he’s featured in seven National League games this season, four as a left midfielder and three in central midfield, accruing 265 minutes of game time.

The ‘interest’ in Hawkes was brought up in Paul Heckingbottom’s pre-Sunderland presser. The Leeds United boss was polite, yet firm in his reply to questions – the answers of which were carried by website Leeds Live.

Heckingbottom said, “He’s not our player, he’s not someone who we’re in a position to talk about, anything like that. It would be one for the summer, while reports are going in on players, we’re speaking about individual players. Until they’re our player or we’re making a move and there’s news to tell you in that respect, it’s pointless us mentioning it because all that’ll happen is you’ll ask me about a player who I’ve probably never even heard of and I tell you that.”

In quite a jocular continuation of the topic, the Leeds United boss went on to say, “Then the next person I do comment on you’ll think ‘he must be going for him then.’ So it’s easier not to bother.

Youngster Hawkes has a year left on his contract with the National League outfit, Hartlepool being in the process of being taken over by Teesside-based businessman Raj Singh.

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.

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