SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has stepped up his pursuit of a new centre-back.

The Shrimpers boss looks to have missed out on signing Jakub Sokolik who is now expected to join Yeovil Town.

And another of his transfer targets, Tamika Mkandawire, has opted to move to America to play next season.

But Brown has now set his sights elsewhere and has held talks with another defender he hopes to bring to Roots Hall for next season.

“I’ve met with a centre-back and I felt the talks went well,” said the Blues chief.

“I won’t be naming the transfer target this time but I’ve spoken with him and it was all very positive.

“If we could get him in I think he would really be a colossus for us at the back and he would also chip in with a few goals at the other end as well.

“I don’t think we scored enough goals from set pieces last season and that’s something we need to improve on.

“Signing this defender would certainly help where that was concerned.”

Brown is soon expected to hold further talks with the defender.

But he will first be speaking with club chairman Ron Martin.

“This is another move that could well come done to finances so I will be talking to the chairman and seeing what we can afford,” said Brown.

“Hopefully we can make it happen because we certainly need to bring in another defender, especially after we missed out on Tam and Jakub.”

Blues currently have just two recognised centre-backs in their squad, Luke Prosser and Adam Thompson.