SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell has started his pursuit of new signings but insists no deals are imminent.

The Blues boss is keen to strengthen his injury hit squad during the January transfer window which opens tomorrow.

But Powell is not close to completing any transfers.

“There’s nothing close or imminent but we’ve made our phone calls and people know that we’re after one or two players,” said Powell.

“They are slow burners but after the Gillingham game we have a clear week which helps us before we play Portsmouth in the Checkatrade.

“Who knows, something might be done before that.

“But if not we still have a number of weeks to get one or two over the line.”

The Shrimpers chief is currently short of options with left-back Ben Coker, winger Sam Barratt, midfielder Lewis Gard and striker Tom Hopper all ruled out for the rest of the season with knee injuries.

Centre-back Harry Kyprianou will also miss the remainder of the campaign with an Achilles problem while defensive duo Jason Demetriou and Harry Lennon are out until the end of January.

Goalkeeper Mark Oxley is currently sidelined with a back problem while defender Rob Kiernan has been out since August 2017 with knee injuries.

Midfielder Luke Hyam also missed Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Coventry City with an illness.

But boss Powell remains hopeful the 27-year-old will be back in contention for Tuesday's game against Gillingham at Roots Hall.