AFTER initially ruling Paul Hartley out of contention for the job, Hartlepool United returned with an improved offer to prize him away from Cove Rangers, it's been revealed.

Hartley was confirmed as Pools new manager earlier this evening after he put pen-to-paper on two-year deal at the club succeeding Graeme Lee at the club.

During Pools month-long appointment process, it was understood the club had ruled him out of contention. This decision was made after the nature of the two parties' preliminary talks were leaked to Scottish media.

They claimed that Hartley had turned down the offer from Pools to become their manager to remain with Cove Rangers. Meanwhile, Pools were quick to debunk that any formal offer was made and that they had drawn up their 'exciting' shortlist of candidates.

Pools said in their statement last week: "The club are disappointed some initial conversations were leaked to the press but we will continue to work diligently following a defined process to appoint our next manager."

However, it's now understood that talks were left open ended between the parties to allow Pools to strike a deal to bring Hartley to the Suit Direct Stadium.

In an official statement on the Cove Rangers website, it said: "Having been given permission to speak to Hartlepool United, and having had lengthy negotiations with the EFL League Two club, Paul had initially chosen to remain at Balmoral Stadium. The English side then returned with a further improved offer which he decided to accept.

Compensation has now been agreed and Paul leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Cove Rangers FC. His assistant, Gordon Young, will also be joining Hartlepool."

The complicated process has now reached it's conclusion and Hartley leaves Cove Rangers having led them to Scottish League One title last season adding to his four other promotions in the dugout with Alloa Athletic and Dundee.