Date: 30th January 2008 at 1:06am
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Crewe, Gillingham and Hartlepool look set to battle it out for Stockport County’s Anthony Elding.

The three clubs have all shown an interest in the striker, who has 5 goals in his last 5 league games. Last night Dario Gradi made the trip with chief scout to watch Elding at Edgely Park in a game that he scored in, and by all accounts played well in.

Also looking on were Gillingham, who Stockport have confirmed have made an official enquiry about Elding. However, the most concrete interest has come from Hartlepool who have now had two bids rejected by Stockport this month.

With the transfer window closing in roughly 48 hours, it looks like a scrap could be on for Elding’s signature. Crewe are still yet to make their interest official, but it seems all but certain that Elding is currently number one target.

Former Alex defender, now Stockport manager, Jim Gannon though doesn’t think any of the three clubs showing interest would be a good move for his striker.

Gannon told the Stockport Official Website: ‘If the players had opportunities to move to the top twenty-five or thirty teams in the country, and there was good money on the table and it was a great move for the player, then I’d welcome that. But, no disrespect, the likes of Hartlepool, Crewe, Gillingham, are they a real step up for the player.”

The former Boston striker has 15 goals in League Two this season, and 24 in 38 starts in his Stockport career. Being a strong man up front, he’d suit the type of player the management at Gresty Road are currently looking for.

However, there have been doubts over his attitude after being suspended by Stockport in October for ‘breach of contract’.