Paul Simpson says work is under way at Carlisle United so that the Blues can strike as early as possible in the summer transfer window.

While United have three games left of their League One relegation season, efforts are being stepped up to try and get ahead of the game with their close-season rebuilding.

Simpson hopes Carlisle can have a “smoother” summer in the market than they did after last year’s promotion through the play-offs.

“I want to move as quickly as we can but we probably won’t be able to announce anything until June,” said the Blues boss.

“But I’d like to think we’ll have some things in place ready to move.”

Simpson said United are making calls to agents and players “to try and find out where the land lies” even if some were not yet ready to commit until the current campaign was over.

“I think we’re in a good position. But until they’re signed I don’t count them in,” said Simpson.

“We’ve just got to keep working and assessing. There are loads of games being watched on videos now, we’re crunching those with the data alongside them, then when we get to the point of [confirming our targets], we go out and get live viewings.

“Myself and other coaches are going out watching live viewings over the next few weeks to get our own eyes on, to back up scout reports.

“There’s lots of work going on to try and get ahead of the game, certainly to be better ahead of it than last year because of the play-offs – which I’m not complaining about, by the way.

“We are working to get into a position where recruitment is hopefully smoother.”

Simpson added that his preference would be to get as much of his recruitment as possible done in time for the start of pre-season, which was far from the case last year.

“I would like to get players in for a full pre-season, whereas last year we had a couple coming in at the end of it, and having to catch up in terms of fitness and things like that," he said.

“It would be lovely if we can get the group together – or as close as we can – for the start of pre-season, so they can all do all the work, and the team building and so on, so come the start of the season we’re in a good position.”

Before recruiting new players, United are likely to confirm their retained and released list the week after the final game of the campaign at Derby County on April 27.

Simpson said he is clear in his mind on his likely decisions ahead of the return to League Two – but insisted certain players could still affect his final calls.

“They’ve got to keep doing what they have to do as a professional footballer,” he said ahead of the last three games of term, starting with Blackpool's visit tomorrow.

“I’m fairly clear on what I want to do but there’s always little grey areas. Nothing’s as simple as black and white – there’s always a grey area that might come out and we decide to go with [someone].

“When you’re releasing players you also have to have an idea of who you’re going to replace them with.

“We’ve got to make sure that what we’re bringing in is going to be better than what goes out.”