SOUTHEND United boss Kevin Maher says it became too difficult for Brookyln Kabongolo to stay with the Shrimpers.

Kabongolo left Blues earlier this week after he was unable to agree a new contract.

And Maher admitted the defender’s departure came after his advisors sought “certain guarantees” which could not be provided.

“We’d been in talks with him and all of his advisors for the last three weeks,” said Maher.

“We have a contract we give to young players which is incentivised if they play.

“We did it with Collin (Andeng Ndi) who signed and Oli Coker who has been so easy to deal with.

“But Brook’s advisors wanted certain guarantees that we wouldn’t give to anyone at the football club.

“That made it difficult and football is a small world so at the same time we’re hearing they’re touting his name around everywhere.”

Kabongolo made 14 appearances after signing for the Shrimpers from Billericay Town earlier this season.

And Maher does have some sympathy for the defender.

“I feel for the lad because he’s a real nice kid and there’s potential we thought he had,” said Maher.

“It became too difficult from our point of view in the end and we can’t guarantee anyone a certain amount of games.

“We said from the start we only want people who are desperate to be here and the ones we’ve done have all shown that.

“But good luck to him and we wish him the best.”