YORK City's management team have held talks with players from troubled former club Gateshead, but expect to lose out to higher-league suitors.

Aside from full-back Scott Barrow, the Heed's squad are all out of contract this summer, making the north-east outfit an ideal poaching ground for teams up to four tiers above the Minstermen in National League North.

Gateshead's ninth-placed finish in the National League last season, despite considerable financial problems, has not gone unnoticed at all levels of the game, with City boss Steve Watson and assistant-manager Micky Cummins assembling the squad last summer before switching to Bootham Crescent in January.

But, on the likelihood of being reunited with any of those players, Cummins confessed: "Gateshead have come a long way from where we were last year. We improved them.

"They have options higher up. We've had conversations but we feel that we'll most likely miss out.

"(Defender) Jon Mellish has gone to (League Two outfit) Carlisle and there's talk of a couple going to League One and the Championship, which is fantastic for them."

Cummins added that he anticipated no further departures from Bootham Crescent as he and Watson look to reach a settled base from which to build a squad.

But the number two strongly indicated that the Minstermen are seeking to recruit further, following the addition of Kieran Green from Blyth Spartans and fellow midfielder Paddy McLaughlin turning his loan move into a two-year permanent switch.

"We feel we have nailed down the players from the group that we had," he said. "We've got a good nucleus and a real good group there and just need a couple of additions here and there to improve the squad.

"Conversations are ongoing and there are offers on the table. Our targets do have options higher up so we've got to hope they like what York has to offer - full-time football and a new stadium.

"When we play here (Bootham Crescent) and we're playing well, the stadium's bouncing. The fans are fantastic.

"We're looking for a successful season and hopefully they'll come and join us."