LEAGUE ONE outfit Gillingham have made an official approach to Newport County for manager Justin Edinburgh, the Argus has learned.

The 45-year old is the ninth longest serving manager in English football, having joined the Exiles in October 2011.

While neither Newport nor the Gills have confirmed the news, the Argus understands a formal approach to County was lodged on Monday from Gillingham chairman Paul Scally.

It remains unclear, however, whether Edinburgh desires to leave Rodney Parade and if Gillingham are willing to meet the compensation clause required to take him to Priestfield Stadium.

The Exiles had been hopeful that Edinburgh would agree to a contract extension, which remains on the table for him.

Edinburgh has been the bookies favourite for several weeks to succeed former England U21 boss Peter Taylor, but had seemingly distanced himself from the role in confirming negotiations over a new deal to remain at Rodney Parade.

“The speculation has been there and it’s been tough for me, I can’t pretend it wasn’t a situation that potentially interested me,” he said on January 22.

“But the club have always been good to me and I do feel I owe them some loyalty as well.

“I had one or two questions and they have been answered by Howard Greenhaf and I am pleased to end the speculation because I have enormous affection for Newport County.

“Hopefully now everyone can focus on Northampton on Saturday.”

County director Howard Greenhaf and chief executive Dave Boddy, who has since left the club, both explained last month that they expected Edinburgh to reject any potential overtures from the Kent outfit.

“If Gillingham do approach us, we will have a chat with Justin, but I would imagine he’s got his eyes on a bigger club, higher in the pyramid than Gillingham,” Greenhaf told the Argus on January 15.

“He’s operating as if it is business as usual and so are we.

“We will always be open and honest with him, but it goes without saying we want him to stay.”

Gillingham wouldn’t confirm or deny the news when asked by the Argus, but did release the following statement from chairman Paul Scally.

“We will not fuel rumours, nor speak on individuals either way, but we will get on with the task aware that this is a significantly important appointment that we must try and get right,” he said.

Meanwhile defender Regan Poole is still set for a dream switch to the Championship, despite his move still not being completed.

As reported in Argus Sport, the 16-year old academy scholar is set for a move to Craven Cottage as Championship side Fulham look to secure the talent of a teenager that has already impressed enough to earn a trial at Manchester United.

It is understood that a deal in principle has been agreed with the Exiles that will see the Wales U17 international switch to South London this summer and as he is on a youth contract, his deal is not bound by the transfer deadline, which closed at 11pm last night.