Southend United manager Phil Brown has spoken of his disappointment at Rotherham-born Ryan Cresswell opting to join League Two rivals Fleetwood Town for an undisclosed fee.
The strapping centre-half, who moved to Southend from his hometown club last summer, has penned a two-year deal with Fleetwood.
The Star understands Chesterfield had a bid turned down earlier this month for Cresswell, who notched six goals in 43 league appearances for the Shrimpers last term. York City are also thought to have expressed an interest in the 25-year-old. Cresswell played a key role in Southend reaching the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
Brown said: “Ryan is a very good defender but it was clear that he was keen to return north. He’s a loss, that’s for sure, but he has now left the club and we must now look forward rather than back with the season just around the corner.
“We have been aware of the situation and have been exploring our options as we always knew we may lose Ryan.”