SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown insists he is still interested in signing Leyton Orient striker Jay Simpson.

The 28-year-old, who Blues tried to bring in during the summer, has handed in a transfer request at Brisbane Road.

And Brown remains keen on adding Simpson to his squad.

“I’ve seen what’s happened with Jay Simpson and it is something which still interests me,” confirmed the Shrimpers chief.

“I’m definitely in the market for another striker, we’ve spoken to two or three clubs and are in talks about bringing them in either on loan or a permanent basis.

“But Jay is someone we wanted to sign in the summer and I’m definitely still interested.

“It hasn’t gone any further than that at the moment but he’s a good player and is one we’ll definitely keep an eye on.”

Brown remains determined to bolster his striking options as he currently has just three fit senior forwards in his squad.

David Mooney - who has been out since October - is not expected to return from an ankle injury until at least February while Jason Williams is to join National League side Boreham Wood on loan until April.

Brown has inserted a 24 hour call back in the deal but is now looking elsewhere with Simpson still on his radar.

The former Arsenal trainee bagged 25 goals for the O’s last season but has not been as prolific this season.

The striker has hit the back of the net just three times in 17 appearances but is keen to quit the struggling League Two club.

Simpson has previously played for West Bromwich Albion, Queens Park Rangers, Hull City and Millwall and has scored 78 goals during his career.

Coventry City are also rumoured to be interested in Simpson who O’s boss Andy Edwards opted to leave out of his squad for the last two matches.

Simpson’s deal with Orient expires at the end of the season when he would be able to leave the club on a free transfer.