Southend United manager Phil Brown is resigned to losing midfielder Jack Payne – with Huddersfield Town ready to pounce.

The 21-year-old aggressive attacker is very much on Town head coach David Wagner ’s radar, with powers that be believed to be trying to broker a deal.

Payne, who netted nine goals in 35 appearances as the Roots Hall club finished 15th in League One, is out of contract this summer but would command a fee because he is under 24 years of age.

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Brown feels Payne and his promising goalkeeper Dan Bentley would be better staying at Southend, but he feels the chances of that are diminishing.

“They get their heads turned by agents and they get their heads turned by what, in their eyes, are bigger and better things,” said the manager.

“I think the progress of Dan Bentley and Jack Payne is right where it is. If something comes along in two or three years time then all well and good.

“But that’s not the advice they have been listening to.

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“They’ve been listening to what they’ve wanted all season – to be playing at a higher level.

“We didn’t manage it, so consequently it’s the reason why I lost the argument.

“It’s their time now and if they want to fly early, get on with it.”