Speaking to the Southend Echo, Southend United chairman Ron Martin insists that midfielder Ryan Leonard is not for sale. This comes after promoted duo Sheffield United and Millwall saw bids of approximately £300,000 rejected by the Blues this summer.
Leonard is certainly one of the key men at Roots Hall and is one of Phil Brown’s first names on the team sheet. Chris Wilder and Neil Harris are certainly big fans of his, and there are likely to be others in next season’s Sky Bet Championship that feel the same. Nevertheless, it looks as though he’ll be a Southend player next season.
Martin has revealed that he has met with the player recently to inform his of recent developments. The plan is for him to remain at the club next season, insisting they want to build the team around him,
“I’ve met with Lenny (Ryan Leonard) and I’ve told him we don’t want to sell him.
“We’ve rejected offers from two clubs for him and our ambition is to get promoted from this league and to get into the Championship so it makes no sense to sell our best players.”
Martin also revealed that he’ll be offered 25-year-old Leonard ‘a substantially improved contract’, in a bid to show him how much he is rated at Roots Hall. Southend narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season, which were won by Millwall, and Brown will certainly be looking to call upon Leonard again. He made 48 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring three goals.