MIKAEL Mandron is training with Colchester United this week.

But U’s head coach John McGreal has confirmed that the striker has only linked up with the squad to maintain his fitness levels, ahead of the new season.

Mandron, who made 95 appearances during his two-year stay at Colchester, was released by the League Two club at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

Since leaving the U’s, the Frenchman has been linked with the likes of Hearts, along with League One pair Gillingham and Bristol Rovers.

Mandron is currently on the lookout for a new club but boss McGreal says he was more than happy to help his former player.

McGreal told the Gazette: “Mika is keeping fit with us.

“He’s waiting for things to fall into place with a new club and while he does that, he wants to keep his fitness levels up.

“Mika did great for us and like I’ve said before, he was also the first one on the training pitch and the last one off it.

“We’re a club that tries to look after its own and we were only too glad to help.”

Colchester’s players have been back in pre-season training for seven days, ahead of the new League Two season.

They take on Isthmian League outfit Bowers and Pitsea in their first friendly of the summer, tomorrow night.

The U’s could field their new signings Omar Sowunmi, Luke Gambin and Michael Fernandes in the match at the Len Salmon Stadium.

“Pre-season gone really well so far,” said McGreal.

“There’s been a lot of running but we’ve also had the balls out early on.

“We won’t get away from the hard work but on the evidence that we’ve seen, they’ve looked after themselves in the off season and stuck to their programmes and are looking fit.

“Pre-season is about making sure we keep in place the beliefs, habits and standards that are so important.

“It’s all about the application and things like attitude and what’s worked on in training goes a long way.

“We’ll be looking to see how far we’ve come with the fitness levels.

“There’ll be a couple of new faces for the fans to see and we’ll be introducing more of the younger kids, as well.”