Manager Keith Curle says Carlisle United are poised to make their third signing in a week.

The Blues boss says the club are awaiting international clearance before they can complete a deal for the unnamed player.

And Curle also suggested a fourth signing was being eyed as he tries to further bolster his injury-hit squad - which may now be without Mike Jones for the rest of the season.

Of the ongoing deal Curle said: "We're just waiting for international clearance to be confirmed with the club secretary [Sarah McKnight].

"And then we might have another potential one that we're looking at.

"We're trying to make sure we've got a very competitive squad coming to the end of the season."

Curle has already handed short-term deals this week to trialists James Hooper and Joe Ward.

He is hoping to have at least one of the other new faces signed in time for Saturday's trip to Mansfield.

United's boss said the free agent market remains worth exploring, at a time when some of his key players are sidelined.

"We've signed a few players, and also invited a few players in that we've monitored," he said.

"Word's spread now of the areas we're looking in and there are people who have been away, people in the Indian Super League have come back [for example], there are still players available and we're looking.

"It's an ongoing process even though there's only nine games to go."

Curle said the current two targets, who have trained with the squad, are "very slightly" older than 20-year-olds Hooper and Ward, with one believed to be a forward.

Former West Brom man Ward's arrival is timely with fellow midfielder Jones' latest ankle injury appearing to have ended his campaign.

The midfielder suffered the injury in last weekend's defeat to Cambridge.

Curle said: "It's gone from a scan and the surgeon's opinion to the surgeon now going to have a look, and an exploratory operation to find out the extent, because scans are not always conclusive.

"The club and medical department have taken the best option for the benefit of the player.

"At the top of my documentation on the medical report [it said] the likelihood is, if any work needs to be done, you'd probably say Mike Jones' season at this stage would be over."

Of his other injured players, Curle said Jason Kennedy would be back before the end of the season.

Defender Michael Raynes is "close", the manager added, but wasn't certain to return against his old club on Saturday.