Southend winger Damian Scannell is edging closer to signing a new contract at the club.

The Shrimpers will be playing in England`s fourth tier next season following their relegation from League One but manager Steve Tilson is confident of retaining the services of the 25-year-old who joined the club from Eastleigh in January 2008.

"I think everything is close to being sorted out with Damo now which is good news for us," Tilson told the club`s official website. "It`s a two-year deal we`ve offered him and it will be great if he signs it because he was playing really well last season before picking up his (foot) injury."

He added: "It was the best form he had shown since signing and I think he realises that if he stays with us then he will have the opportunity to play a lot more games."

Meanwhile, Southend will host Championship club Ipswich in a pre-season friendly on July 9. The Shrimpers are set to travel to Canvey Island three days later before playing Dartford (July 16).

Southend will return to Roots Hall to play Derby (July 19) before ending their pre-season schedule with a re-arranged trip to Thurrock (July 24) and a clash at Rushden (July 28).

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