SOUTHEND United are interested in bringing Nicky Bailey back to Roots Hall.

The midfielder, who made 56 appearances during a year long spell with Blues, is believed to favour a switch back south after being released by Championship club Middlesbrough.

And Blues boss Phil Brown has confirmed he would love to be able to work with the 29-year-old.

“Nicky is someone I would very much like to speak to about coming to the football club,” said Brown.

“He´s a quality footballer who has played at a higher level and he´s the type of player our new backroom team here want to sign.

“I´m realistic enough to know it could well come down to affordability and if we are able to meet his wage demands.

“However, I want to at least be able to have that discussion with him.”

The Echo understands that the Shrimpers have already contacted Bailey´s representatives to talk about a possible return to Roots Hall.

Bailey was voted Blues player of the year for the 2007-2008 season after producing a number of impressive performances in the centre of the park.

But at the start of the following campaign he joined Charlton Athletic in a deal worth around £175,000.

Bailey angered Blues fans due to the way he handled the switch to the Valley but he continued to perform well and joined Middlesbrough for £1.4 million in July 2010.

Bailey made 111 appearances while in the north-east but is now available on a free transfer after not being offered a new deal.

Bailey is likely to attract interest from a number of other clubs but Blues are desperate to bring in new midfielders ahead of the new season.