Date: 22nd July 2015 at 10:38pm
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Phil Brown has confirmed Gary Deegan should soon sign a new Southend contract whilst also looking to play down any thoughts Daniel Bentley’s had ‘his head turned’ following interest from Hull.

Deegan’s one of the members of our promotion winning squad that hasn’t been tied down but Brown’s told the Echo he’s expecting news on a new deal by close of play today, although this close of play is getting close now isn’t it!

‘I’ve been told Gary is now very close to signing a new contract.

‘Hopefully we will have something to announce after the game tonight.’

If Deegan was a trialists you would understand him ‘taking a risk’ by training with us and playing in pre-season friendlies. As he’s not and hasn’t moved on elsewhere its safe to say he’s got his future firmly set on staying at Roots Hall.

We just need to dot those i’s and cross those t’s!

Another we want to have his future at Roots Hall is Bentley but the closer he moves towards the end of his contract, he’s moving into the final year of this, and the more links to other clubs we see the harder it looks we’ll have him as our ‘keeper for too much longer….

Hull’s interest is public knowledge now with a £1m bid turned down earlier this week.

Brown, also talking to the Echo, has spoken to Bentley and doesn’t feel his head has been turned by this interest and any continued speculation with it set to be ‘business as usual.’

‘I had a long conversation with Daniel yesterday and we agreed to both be very level-headed about everything.

‘If agents and football executives want to get lairy about the situation then that’s up to them, but Daniel and I will be carrying on as usual.

‘He is very professional in everything he does and although we all tend be affected by certain voices I don`t think it will get to Daniel.

‘As things stand he’s looking forward to having a good season with us in League One and he’s fully focused on that as well.’

If Bentley should leave, not that we want him to, we do at least have Ted Smith waiting in the wings.

Without saying we would sooner have another year, ideally more, from Bentley with Smith continuing to develop and compete against him.

Worst case scenario we get one more season from Bentley, if he doesn’t sign a new contract we’ll at least get a compensation payment – if an acceptable bid isn’t made before – for him and then Smith steps up!

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