SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has confirmed the Shrimpers have rejected an offer for Ryan Leonard, believed to be from Championship newcomers Sheffield United.

Leonard, who has been Blues’ player of the year for the past two seasons, has just a year left on his contract at Roots Hall.

But Brown insisted chairman Ron Martin is keen to keep the midfielder at the club.

“We’ve had a bid for Lenny now but the chairman has rejected it and it does not come close to matching our valuation, even if he is in the final year of his contract,” said Brown.

“We’re offering Ryan an improved deal and we want him to stay because of how important he is to the team and what we want to achieve here next season.”

The size of the Blades’ bid is not yet known.