COLCHESTER United's players report back for pre-season training this morning - with the club on the verge of adding to their squad.

The U's return to Tiptree to begin their preparations for the new League Two season still hoping to strengthen in several positions, ahead of the big kick-off on August 3.

With the likes of Frankie Kent, Brennan Dickenson and Mikael Mandron having left for pastures new and Sammie Szmodics heavily linked with a move to the Championship this summer, Colchester are looking for new blood.

So far, the U's only additions have been Sammie McLeod and Danny Collinge, who have initially been earmarked for their under-23 squad.

But Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling, along with director of football Tony Humes and head of football operations Tony Ashby, are working hard on deals to bring new players in with new signings expected imminently.

Colchester head coach John McGreal told the Gazette: “Recruitment have been busy talking to representatives and agents.

“I know that the chairman and Tony (Humes) are looking to try and strengthen."

McGreal has said that Dickenson was offered a ‘good deal’ to stay at Colchester prior to the winger leaving for MK Dons.

Dickenson left to join the Dons last month, after rejecting the offer of a new contract at the JobServe Community Stadium.

The 26-year-old scored 15 goals in 93 appearances during his three-year spell with Colchester, prior to joining the League One newcomers.

“We offered him a good deal knowing the constraints and restrictions our club has," said McGreal.

“Dicko rang me to say thanks and that he’s really grateful for everything we had done.

“He came here without a club and he’s pushed on with us and done really well.

“It took a bit of time and patience with Brennan after his injury but towards the end of the season, he got himself back into the team and playing well.

“He’s now gone to what I regard as a Championship club in MK Dons, who have just been promoted.

“They were a big club in our division and fair play to him.

“Mika (Mandron) has had a fair bit of interest, too.

“I spoke to him and he’s said thanks for everything.

“I just want these boys to go on and flourish.”

Tom Eastman was also out of contract at Colchester this summer.

But the long-serving centre-back penned a new two-year deal with the U’s earlier this month, much to the delight of McGreal.

“I’m delighted that Tom has signed his contract,” said the U’s head coach.

“He never lets you down and you know what you get from Tom.

“He had a really strong finish to last season with Luke (Prosser) being out and it’s great he’s signed his new contract.”