GRAEME Lee could yet line up next season for Hartlepool United.

The classy central defender is out of contract and is believed to have rejected two offers from Pool to sign a new deal.

After making his debut in 1996 and making 252 appearances for the club he joined as a trainee, Lee is expected to walk out and link up with former boss Chris Turner at Sheffield Wednesday.

Lee's contract expires on June 30 - and boss Mike Newell insists Lee's future isn't necessarily away from Victoria Park.

"I've never accepted that anything is decided about his future,'' vowed Newell. "I am not giving up on him or expecting him to leave us like some might be.

"It's up to him. Of course he wants to play at the highest level possible and he genuinely feels that if he gets the opportunity then he wants to do that.

"We know he hasn't signed up with us yet, but all he is doing right now is keeping his options open. There is still every chance he could sign a new deal to stay to here.''

Pool will return to Holland as part of their pre-season build up this year, where they will again stay at the Dutch national training camp at Zeist.

After two 12-0 wins last summer, Pool will face tougher opposition this time.

Newell's side start with a game against TOP Oss on Wednesday, July 16 (3pm) and meet SC Heerenveen 48 hours later.

TOP Oss finished eighth in the First Division last season, just missing out on a play-off spot, while Heerenveen played in this season's UEFA Cup.

l Third Division top scorer, former Newcastle Blue Star striker Andy Morrell, yesterday signed for Coventry City from Wrexham on a Bosman free