SOUTHEND United are interested in signing former Forest Green Rovers defender Chris Stokes, Echosport understands. 

The 30-year-old centre-back, who has 350 career appearances to his name, was released by Rovers at the end of last season.

But he is now attracting interest from Blues boss Phil Brown who previously worked with left-sided defender while at Bolton Wanderers.

Stokes has enjoyed two spells with Forest Green, who he skippered last season, and has also played for Crewe Alexandra, Coventry City, Bury and Stevenage.

But he is now looking for a new club and was part of the reason Brown watched Forest Green's clash with Barrow towards the end of last season.