Trio leading race for James

Victoria Park: Trio eyeing Pools youngster

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Midfielder James has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with the Pools in League One this season, notching up 19 appearances after making his senior debut off the bench against Colchester in December.

The 17-year-old's antics have not gone unnoticed, with several top clubs thought to have their eye on the youngster, who has also scored three goals this term.

Premier League high-fliers Newcastle and relegated Bolton, as well as Scottish Premier League giants Celtic, are believed to be leading the hunt for James, who came through the youth ranks at Victoria Park before penning his first professional deal last November.

Hartlepool face a fight to keep hold of the teenager, with Newcastle thought to have already made a bid for him.