New Huddersfield Town chief executive Julian Winter and football operations chief Stuart Webber will have key roles if the club are to land Southend United midfielder Jack Payne – and do it within budget.
Even though the 21-year-old Londoner is out of contract, the League I side will be due a fee because of Payne’s age and the fact that he has been offered a new deal (no agreement could be reached).
Should a club signing Payne be unable to agree compensation, the matter would go to tribunal, as happened when Town signed former England Uner 19 midfielder Oscar Gobern from Southampton in 2011, when he was 20 and out of contract.
That fee was set at £275,000, rising to £400,000 on appearances.
Southend academy product Payne has made 88 appearances for Southend, scoring 17 goals, and has also been linked with Ipswich Town and Wolves as well as Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam.
He swept the board at Southend’s end-of-season awards ceremony.