HARTLEPOOL United are still in the process of considering candidates for their current managerial vacancy with the hope that an appointment can be secured this week.

Pools have been without a manager for the last four weeks with the club going through the process of interviewing applicants for the role. Chairman Raj Singh has been deciding which direction he wants to go in whether he chooses and experienced manager, and ‘up-and-coming’ boss or a blend of both.

Amid his departure from Scottish side Kelty Hearts, former Middlesbrough midfielder Kevin Thomson is emerging as the current favourite to take over at the Suit Direct Stadium.

In his first job in management, he took Kelty Hearts to the Scottish League Two title last season but the former Rangers man told the club of his desire to pursue further opportunities in his career as his departure was confirmed on Tuesday.

He tweeted: “Always tough when you move on. Just like to say a massive thanks to Kelty Hearts for giving me and Kevin MacDonald the opportunity to take the club forward.

“Loved every minute of it. Not always rosy but highs and lows in football! Massive thanks to everyone, fans, players and staff.”

Ex-Sunderland manager Simon Grayson, Gateshead boss Mike Williamson and former Halifax Town manager Pete Wild have all been vetted for the role. Wild have since gone on to make the switch to League Two Barrow after the Shayman were knocked out of the National League play-offs.

Grayson has been out of work since being sacked as Fleetwood Town manager in October last year with the League One side struggling down the bottom end of the table.

Williamson is now considered to be an outside candidate after the manager distanced himself from the position. He recently guided the Heed back to the National League gaining promotion as league champions.

Current Cove Rangers manager and former Hearts midfielder Paul Hartley was also considered for the role but it’s understood that he was rejected for the job. Reports had initially suggested Hartley had turned down the job.

Meanwhile, odds were shortened on former Boro and Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray to take the job but it’s understood he wasn’t even considered as he harbours hopes of continuing to manage in the Championship after leaving Ewood Park.

Reports have emerged that former Black Cats manager Jack Ross was also considered for the role but he will not be taking up the reigns at Pools.