TIMOTHEE Dieng and Elvis Bwomono were not among the Southend United players reporting back in for pre-season testing.

The Shrimpers squad gathered at Boots & Laces on Thursday.

But Blues boss Phil Brown confirmed Dieng and Bwomono - who have yet to agree a new contract - were not in attendance. 

"Dieng is back in France," said Brown.

"He’s holding out for a team in the Football League I think and I understand that.

"Elvis is the same and I think his agent will have told him that if he goes in and trains with Southend it will weaken his hand.

"I get that but I also understand we’ve offered him a deal and we can’t do anymore.

"If he gets a deal elsewhere then we’re entitled to compensation.

"It’s a bit of an impasse where Elvis is concerned but not with Tim.

"The offer is on the table and he can take it at any stage, it’s entirely his call."

But winger Ricky Holmes, who has also yet to sign a new deal, could not attend due to illness. 

"Unfortunately, Ricky has contracted Covid so he’s been put in isolation for five days and can’t join us," Brown added.