Huddersfield Town are strong favourites to secure the signature of Southend attacking midfielder Jack Payne.

Although Ipswich Town and Wolves have also been linked with the 21-year-old talent, the Echo reports that only Town and Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam have made contact with his current club.

And it is Town who look set to complete the deal.

Payne came through the Shrimpers academy set-up and has turned out 88 times for the club, but has rejected a new contract to stay at Roots Hall.

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However, given the fact he is under 24 Southend would be due a fee should he move to another English club - either agreed between the two sides or decided by a tribunal.

He scored nine times this season as Phil Brown guided Southend to a 15th-placed finish in League One.

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But Brown feels that Payne and goalkeeper Dan Bentley are seeking a move too soon.

He said: “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.”