Steven Pressley wants Hallam Hope’s future to be clarified soon – and not turn into a pre-season saga.

The forward, who scored a spectacular goal against Hibs in Carlisle’s first friendly, is the subject of strong interest from other clubs.

Blackpool are reportedly in for last season’s top scorer with League Two clubs also keen.

United’s manager says he will not stand in Hope’s way if Carlisle receive an acceptable offer.

But he wants the matter to be resolved so United have enough time to react and, if necessary, replace Hope.

He said: “Hallam’s a permanent player for us here, and you really can only sign five loans, with one coming in later this week in the midfield position.

“We might sign a secondary loan player in midfield and that would only leave us three attacking loans.

“How we utilise the loans will be dependent on whether Hallam’s [here] or not.

“We’ve got a number of things to consider. I’d really love it resolved sooner rather than later.”

Pressley said he was unaware of the status of negotiations between Carlisle and other clubs.

On Blackpool’s interest, he said: “There’s obviously been a change in management there and I’m not sure how that’s going to affect their transfer policy.

“We’re obviously aware that if they reach the valuation we expect, Hallam would like the opportunity to speak.

“At this stage there’s still nothing sure on that. I would love him to stay here but we understand his ambitions.”

Should United sell Hope it would be the second fee received this summer after Liam McCarron’s six-figure departure to Leeds.

United pledged the McCarron money would be reinvested in the squad and, asked if fans would see evidence of that, Pressley said: “I certainly hope so. That can be maybe not in the transfer fee but the type of wages we’re prepared to pay to get the right players in. That’s how we might see it.”

Pressley, meanwhile, said 25-year-old Hope was continuing to show the right attitude amid the persistent speculation over his future.

He scored inside two minutes after coming on for the second half against Hibs.

Pressley said: “I said to him, ‘You’ve put a couple of noughts on your transfer fee!

“When I spoke about Hallam recently, I said Hallam had expressed a desire, if the right opportunity was to come, to further his career. I accept that, no problem.

“The one thing is that I expect him to apply himself properly if he remains here, and while he’s here. On that I have got absolutely no complaints. He’s been superb in the training thus far and out there [against Hibs] I thought he looked excellent, really sharp, full of confidence and energy.

“I hope that Hallam does remain, but if he doesn’t then I have no complaints about his attitude, that’s for sure.”

Pressley expects to secure a loan midfielder from a Premier League club today or tomorrow, while he plans to give United’s four trialists, including ex-Manchester City winger Isaac Buckley-Ricketts, two more games to try and earn a deal.