SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown is to hold talks with former Shrimpers midfielder Alan McCormack this week, Echosport understands.

The Irishman - who made 166 appearances for Blues before leaving in 2010 - is available on a free transfer after being released by Championship club Brentford.

And he will soon be meeting with Southend boss Brown for preliminary talks about a return to Roots Hall.

It is believed Brown is toying with the idea of bringing in a sitting midfielder to enable Ryan Leonard - who has previously lined up in front of the back four - to push further forward.

McCormack, 33, could line up in that role and would also add experience having made 450 career appearances.