Newcastle United are in the hunt to sign Hartlepool attacker Josh Hawkes, according to a report.
The Sunderland Echo claims that the Magpies are joined by Leeds United, Middlesbrough and bitter rivals Sunderland in keeping close tabs on Hawkes, 19, after he broke into the first-team at National League club Hartlepool.
It is understood that the Black Cats had approached the North-East club about Hawkes to ask if they could watch over him in a closed-doors game last month.
However Hartlepool rejected their attempts to scout the attacking midfielder.
Hawkes has made seven appearances in the National League this season, scoring one goal which came on his fell debut against Bromley.
The Echo reports that he has one year left on his deal at Victoria Park.
Football Insider verdict
Hawkes has only made a few appearances for Hartlepool so it will be very hard to judge how much potential he has just from those games. It seems that the non-league club are fully aware of the interest in the teenage attacker having had Sunderland reach out to them about scouting him in a closed-doors game but due to the financial situation at Victoria Park, they must have to sell for whatever price really. Leeds probably are not in the front-runners to sign Hawkes as given his age, he may want to stay more local with Newcastle, Sunderland or Boro.
In other Newcastle United news, this Magpies fan favourite has told Rafa Benitez he wants to quit the club.