Two clubs are vying for Carlisle United forward Hallam Hope, the club have said.

Last season's 15-goal top scorer is in demand and could leave Brunton Park before the start of next season.

United, though, have told the frontman he will only be allowed to go if a bidding club meets their valuation.

They have already turned down bids but interest in the Barbados international is unlikely to have gone away.

League Two rivals Swindon have been linked with Hope this summer but are not the only party thought to be showing interest.

Another fourth-tier outfit are believed to be in the race with a club from League One also monitoring developments.

Director of football David Holdsworth would not be drawn on the identity of the bidding clubs.

But he said Hope, 25, had expressed a wish to play at a higher level.

"Right now we’ve got two clubs trying to take Hallam," said Holdsworth.

"I’ve been on the phone constantly through the summer, we've had bids for him, and a second club has entered the race in the past few days.

"We have made it clear with each player that we will evaluate bids that come through the door."

Hope is under contract with the Blues for the 2019/20 season.

"I've had Hallam on the phone and he wants to play at a higher level," Holdsworth added.

"He will only do so when it's right for Carlisle United. The days of us giving into clubs and giving [players] away cheaply are not going to happen any more. I have told his agent that every day.

"I respect Hallam. He has got a contract with us, which he entered into in good faith.

"He will play for us in pre-season and in the forthcoming season if we don't get the value we afford him."

Should Hope leave in the short term it would leave Carlisle short of recognised frontmen.

The Blues are believed to be in talks with striker targets on both a permanent and loan basis.