FORMER Colchester United manager John McGreal is interested in making a sensational switch across the county, the Gazette understands.

McGreal’s four-year spell in charge of the U’s ended last week.

And the 48-year-old is now believed to be keen on replacing Sol Campbell at Southend United.

McGreal led Colchester into the League Two play-offs last season but saw his side edged out by Exeter City in the semi-finals.

The former centre-back lined up for Tranmere Rovers, Colchester and Burnley during his own playing career and worked within the U’s youth set-up before being named boss in 2016.

McGreal also guided a number of young players into the first-team squad while at the Community Stadium.

Meanwhile, current Colchester assistant manager Steve Ball is leading the way in the race to take over at the U’s, with Wayne Brown also a strong contender.

The 50-year-old, who has worked as the U’s under-23 and under-18 boss in the past, is well regarded by chairman Robbie Cowling.

It appears Ball and U’s promotion winner Brown are the two main contenders to succeed McGreal.