Hallam Hope is staying at Carlisle United after the Blues turned down a late bid for the striker.

The approach came in the final hour before the 5pm transfer deadline for lower-league clubs.

Carlisle considered it too late in the day for them to consider accepting, with time also against them to bring in a replacement.

United have not commented on the identity of the club who came in for Hope this afternoon.

The Cumbrians are believed to have identified at least two potential attacking targets had a deal for Hope materialised earlier.

But those players, it's understood, joined other clubs as the final day of the transfer window unfolded, and United no longer considered it in their interests to part with Hope when an approach finally came in.

News of the 25-year-old's retention ends a summer of speculation about the future of last season's top scorer.

He had expressed a desire to leave Brunton Park had a suitable move come about, with Hope keen to play at a higher level.

Blackpool in League One had been eyeing Hope but their interest cooled after boss Simon Grayson replaced Terry McPhillips as boss this summer.

Swindon were among a number of League Two clubs also credited with interest in the ex-Everton and Bury man.

Hope is currently away from Brunton Park having been called up by the Barbados international squad.

He has made six appearances this season without scoring. Boss Steven Pressley said Hope would have to "win supporters over" with his performances after some cheered when he was substituted at Rochdale last Tuesday.

Pressley had said United would consider adding to their squad after the departures of youngsters Liam McCarron and Josh Galloway to Leeds, but the Blues have made no further signings today.

United could still sign free agents after the deadline.