SOUTHEND United are keen to bring in Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder Michael Spillane during the January transfer window.

Blues boss Paul Sturrock wants to sign a defensive midfielder after Tamika Mkandawire returned to Millwall following a successful two-month loan spell at Roots Hall.

And the Echo understands tentative enquiries have now been made about Spillane.

“There has definitely been contact made between the two clubs about Michael,” said a source close to Southend.

“There are one or two potential targets, but Michael is right up there on their wanted list.

“Dagenham will want a fee for him though and that may scupper a deal.

“Southend have yet to make any kind of bid, but they’re hopeful something may be able to get sorted out.”

Spillane started Blues’ Boxing Day clash at Dagenham, but was taken off at half-time as Sturrock’s side cruised to a 3-0 victory at Victoria Road.

The 23-year-old originally joined Dagenham on loan in November 2011 and has gone on to make 60 appearances for the club.

Spillane had been with Brentford and Luton before signing for Dagenham, and he started his career at Norwich City where he played 34 times.

He became the Canaries’ youngest ever player to figure in the FA Cup when he lined up against West Ham United in 2006 and he has also won international honours with the Republic of Ireland.

Spillane has played for his country at under-17, 18, 19 and 21 levels and has also captained several of those sides.

In 2009 he was also voted the Republic’s under-19 player of the year.