Southend United boss David Webb revealed that Leo Roget was all set to join First Division Stockport County, after the defender was omitted from Wednesday's reserve team win over Northampton Town.

The out-of-favour centre-half was expected to tie up a loan switch to Edgeley Park yesterday (Thursday), with a view to a permanent move, which could net the Seasiders £100,000.

The 23-year-old has refused to commit himself to a contract with the Third Division club this season, making no secret of his desire to play at a higher level.

And Webb has decided to give Roget his big chance. "Stockport have come right out of the woodwork and Leo went north for talks yesterday," said the Shrimpers chief.

"Leo hasn't signed a contract at Roots Hall because of his desire to play at a higher level and I've decided not to stand in his way.

"He believes he is good enough to play in the First Division and now he has the opportunity to prove it.

"All I'm concerned about is the future and what is right for our club. If Leo was committed to Southend he would have signed for us by now."

Roget recently turned down the overtures of former Southend manager Barry Fry, who wanted to take the defender to Second Division strugglers Peterborough United.

The centre-half, who has made 34 first team appearances for Blues this term, scoring six goals, was also rumoured to be interesting Crystal Palace.

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