SOUTHEND United are hoping to complete a loan swoop for Burnley right-back Luke O’Neill ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Chesterfield at Roots Hall.
Blues boss Phil Brown is keen to bolster his options at the back with skipper John White currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.
And the Echo understands that it is O’Neill, who played against Southend while on loan at York City earlier on in the season, who tops the Shrimpers chief’s wanted list.
O’Neill came through the youth ranks at Leicester City and spent time on loan with both Tranmere Rovers and Kettering Town.
The 22-year-old then joined Mansfield Town in the summer of 2011 and went on to make 45 appearances for the Stags before being snapped up by Burnley just a year later.
Since then, he has played twice for the Clarets’ first team and also made 16 appearances during a three month loan stint with York City which ended in January.
Southend hope to have everything finalised in order for O’Neill to make his debut tomorrow as his arrival would also enable the influential Ryan Leonard to move back in to the midfield against the Spireites.
Blues opted to remain tight-lipped about their transfer targets but Burnley boss Sean Dyche has hinted that O’Neill could be about to depart.
“We’re still looking at loans with the younger professionals we have here,” said Dyche.
“You have to make sure they are still developing and Luke O’Neill is a good example of that.
“You need to make sure they’re challenged but we do want them playing and are actively looking to make that happen.”
Fifth placed Blues will hope to tie up the deal, despite still being under the restrictions of a transfer embargo and will be desperate to see off promotion rivals Chesterfield who are currently third in the standings.