Hartlepool United fail in bid to sign LuaLua

HARTLEPOOL United have admitted defeat in a second audacious attempt to sign a former Newcastle United player.

Lomana Tresor LuaLua

HARTLEPOOL United have admitted defeat in a second audacious attempt to sign a former Newcastle United player.

Mick Wadsworth has already surprisingly acquired Nolberto Solano, who he worked with when he was Sir Bobby Robson’s assistant manager at St James’ Park. He had hoped to add Solano’s former team-mate Lomana Tresor LuaLua, but the Congo striker has eluded him.

“I’ve spoken to Lomana a lot and I tried to sign him,” revealed Wadsworth, who also had the forward at Colchester United. “We were all excited by it, but we knew it was difficult.

“We discussed it and it would have been a fantastic signing, but he’s not ready to come back here to England just yet. He’s enjoying playing in Europe. He’s had a great career and has got a few years left in him yet.”

Wadsworth keeps in touch with the 30-year-old, and was quick to realise the possibilities when he heard of the financial problems at Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia, where LuaLua was playing, this spring. LuaLua has been released, but is hoping to win another contract in mainland Europe, where he has played his football since leaving Portsmouth.

LuaLua’s younger brother Kazenga is on Newcastle’s books, but Brighton and Hove Albion are hoping to sign him soon on a permanent basis following two successful loan spells at the Withdean Stadium.

Peruvian Solano joined Hartlepool on a free transfer from Hull City in May.

STUART RAYNER

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