Steven Pressley has not ruled out adding to his Carlisle United squad before today’s transfer deadline – whether or not Hallam Hope leaves.

Hope’s fate is the main issue to be resolved before 5pm as Carlisle wait to see if any further offers materialise for the forward.

Manager Pressley, after his side won 1-0 at Scunthorpe on Saturday, said United are ready to act if Hope does depart – while he will also consider adding a younger player to his squad.

He said: “I’ll have a wee look, because one of the things within the make-up of the group was that our young players were going to play a pivotal role.

“When I initially looked at the start of the season, Liam McCarron was part of that group, and also Josh Galloway.

“We’ve now lost two young players [both to Leeds], so the depth of the group now goes down. So I might have to look to go back in.”

United knocked back a bid for Hope recently and Pressley said he would prefer to keep the 25-year-old. He said there were no new approaches he was aware of but added: “You know deadline day, anything could happen.

“We are in a situation where if something happens we need to be ready – we are at this moment in time slightly ahead of the game. But I think, fingers crossed, everything will remain how it is.”

If Hope does stay he is set to miss United’s next game against Exeter in any case, after being called up by Barbados for games against Saint Martin and the Cayman Islands.

Pressley, meanwhile, will send a reserve side to Sunderland this afternoon for a friendly.

It will, he said, give important game time to players in need of action and fitness.

He expects Jarrad Branthwaite, Mo Sagaf, Aaron Hayden and Olufela Olomola to be among those to play.

He said: “Games like this are really important with our development and their fitness.

“Because the last three weeks have been how they are [with so many games], we haven’t managed to organise any. When we get the free week it’s really important that we take advantage of that.”