Southend United say they will continue to talk to Huddersfield Town to get a “fair” fee for Jack Payne.

The highly-rated attacking midfielder, 21, has signed a three-year deal, with the Championship club having the option of adding a further 12 months.

Payne, who came through Southend’s youth system and made 88 first-team appearances, scoring 17 goals, was out of contract.

But because he was offered a new deal and is under 24, the League I club are due compensation.

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If an amount can’t be agreed, the matter will go to tribunal.

The Essex club’s chief executive Steve Kavanagh told the Southend Echo: “We did all we could to keep Jack and it was last September that we first opened contract talks with him.

“We made him offers which would have made him one of the highest paid players at the club.

“But he’s decided he wanted to move on to play at a higher level and that’s entirely up to him.

“We have invested substantially in his development from a young age and through that investment he has now developed into a top talent.

“We were very keen he continued that development at Southend United and we had many meetings and made several offers in an attempt to achieve that.

“But he’s opted to move up into the Championship and we wish him all the very best for the future.”

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Kavanagh continued: “Due to the fact Jack is still under the age of 24 we will be entitled to compensation with this deal.

“We will continue to talk to Huddersfield and hope to get what we think will be a fair transfer figure.”