By Wayne Veysey

1st Dec, 2021 | 7:00am

Sources: Middlesbrough coach Lee in advanced talks to be Hartlepool manager

Middlesbrough Under-23s boss Graeme Lee is in advanced talks to become the Hartlepool United manager, Football Insider understands.

The 43-year-old is in pole position to land the job made vacant by Dave Challinor’s recent departure.

A Hartlepool source has told Football Insider that discussions with Lee have advanced in the last 24 hours and an agreement is now close.

The Middlesbrough-born coach has been involved with the youth setup on Teesside since 2012.

Lee retired from football at the end of the 2012-13 season after appearances across England’s top five divisions.

The defender started his career with Hartlepool United after coming through the ranks at the club.

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He made almost 300 appearances for the club and helped them secure a famous promotion to the Second Division.

Lee also enjoyed spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Doncaster Rovers, Bradford City, and Notts County before his retirement from football.

The 43-year-old has been in charge of Middlesborough U23’s since July 2019 – winning just over 40 per cent of games while at the helm.

The Teessiders find themselves second from bottom in Division Two of Premier League 2 after 13 games this season.

Hartlepool are currently managerless after former boss Challinor departed Victoria Park to join Stockport County.

The County Durham side sit 17th in League Two after a rotten run of form which has seen them lose each of their last five matches.

The Pools face back-to-back cup engagements before taking on Rochdale in the league a week from today (8 December).

In other news, Middlesbrough green light January loan move for young attacker.