SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has expressed his delight at keeping Anton Ferdinand at the club.

The experienced defender has a signed a two year deal to stay with the Shrimpers.

And Brown believes the retention of the 32-year-old will make Blues a more attractive proposition for potential transfer targets this summer.

“It’s brilliant news that Anton is staying because he’s a great attribute for the football club and will help us more attractive to the players we’re trying to bring in,” said Brown.

“Having someone of Anton’s calibre here is fantastic and we saw last season just how important he is to the team.”

Ferdinand joined Blues back in August and went on to make 36 appearances last season.

The former West Ham United and Sunderland defender also took over the captaincy following Adam Barrett’s decision to retire.

But Brown will now be looking to bring in just one other centre-back this summer.

“I spoke to the chairman and we decided between us to bring in just one defender to replace Adam Thompson so that we could everything we could to keep Anton,” said Blues.

“The beauty of keeping John White is that he can also play centre-back.

“We saw that on several occasions last season.”

Brown also expects it to be at least a week before Blues make their first signing of the summer.