SOUTHEND United have rejected another offer from Championship high-flyers Sheffield United for star midfielder Ryan Leonard.

The Shrimpers opted to turn down three bids from the Blades for Leonard in the summer.

And Echosport understands Blues have rejected a further offer, believed to be in the region of £700,000.

Leonard - who has been voted player of the year in each of the past two seasons - has a contract at the club until the end of the season, when he will be able to leave on a free transfer.

However, Blues are keen to keep the 25-year-old as they strive to secure promotion to the Championship. Phil Brown’s side are currently ninth in the League One table, seven points below the play-off positions.

Leonard was also wanted by Millwall in the summer.