SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has revealed John-Joe O’Toole would be an expensive addition to his squad.
The Shrimpers boss is keen to bring the goal-getting midfielder to Roots Hall.
But, having held talks with the player’s agent, Brown now knows that O’Toole will not come cheaply to the club.
“John-Joe is on our radar still, I’ve spoken to his agent but he would be an expensive option for us to be honest,” said Brown.
“I’m not ruling it out and I’m certainly not going to say no at this stage, but I think that one is going to come down to money in the end.”
O’Toole rejected a switch to Roots Hall last summer and instead opted to join Bristol Rovers.
The 25-year-old bagged 15 goals and was named in the PFA League Two team of the season.
But that was not enough to stop the Pirates suffering relegation and Brown believes O’Toole must now regret not joining Blues.
“John-Joe rejected a move to us last summer to join Bristol Rovers but I think he probably feels as though he made the wrong decision now,” said Brown.
“Hopefully we can get him this time though because we need to bring more goals into the team.
“Ryan Leonard got eight or nine from midfield last season, Kevan Hurst got 12 but we if we could John-Joe O’Toole in with them as well then we would be getting even more goals from that area of the team, which is what we need.”
However, the Shrimpers are not the only side tracking O’Toole – who is available on a free transfer this summer.
League One newcomers Scunthorpe United are known to be keen on bringing in the midfielder while Crewe and Chesterfield are also believed to be interested in securing his services.