Sky Bet League One side Southend United are talking with two midfield players, according to the Essex Echo.

The Blues have been forced to bolster their midfield department after Southend saw Will Atkinson join Mansfield earlier this summer.

Meanwhile Phil Brown is keen to bring defenders to Roots Hall, but talks are progressing well with two midfield targets according to Chairman Ron Martin.

Neither of the targets have been named, but it is understood that one is currently plying his trade in the Sky Bet Championship and has experience in the Barclays Premier League.

The other has been lining up for a side in top-flight of Scottish football last season.

“Phil [Brown] has identified two midfield targets and we’re working towards completing those deals,” said Chairman Martin.

“We know we have to make signings to improve on last season and deals won’t be held up just because Phil is out of the country.”

The Blues finished just outside the Sky Bet League One play-offs last season, missing out on a dramatic final day.

But the Blues have made it clear that they will be doing their utmost best to retain the wanted services of Ryan Leonard.

The talented defender is wanted by Sheffield United among other League One and Championship sides, but  Martin has ensured that the 25-year-old is not for sale.

The Essex side are also confident that defender John White will sign a new one-year deal after the 30-year-old appeared 17 times last season to take his Blues’ career total appearances to 151.

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