SOUTHEND United striker Tom Hopper is in talks to join Lincoln City.

Hopper has netted three goals in 16 appearances for the Shrimpers this season.

But the 26-year-old forward is now in discussions with the Imps, who Echosport understands have had a £150,000 offer accepted.

“Last week the club were approached by Lincoln City with an offer to sign Tom Hopper,” confirmed a club statement from the Shrimpers.

“The club refused the first and subsequent offer but has now agreed terms and given consent for Lincoln to talk to Tom.

“Whilst Southend United do not welcome the approach, we equally recognise our League position can often attract interest.

“Additionally, it is also recognised that all players wish to compete at the highest level and at this time the club does not wish to stand in Tom’s way.

“The club is already in discussions to reinforce the squad and which includes a striker with a view to strengthening the first team, not simply for the current season but next year too.”

Hopper scored seven goals in 14 appearances last season before suffering a cruciate ligament injury.

But the forward is believed to have a relegation release clause in his contract and could therefore leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season unless the Shrimpers, who sit 12 points from safety, can somehow work their way out of trouble.