Southend United interested in Nottingham Forest's Stephen McLaughlin

Nottingham Forest let Stephen McLaughlin go on loan to Southend United earlier this season.

Southend United boss Phil Brown has told the Echo that he wants to sign Nottingham Forest midfielder Stephen McLaughlin on a permanent basis.

McLaughlin was on loan at Southend towards the back end of this campaign and Brown has been impressed by the midfielder's showings. 

The 24-year-old played a big part in helping the Blues get promoted into League One, and Brown wants to reward his form by offering him a permanent deal at Roots Hall. 

"I would definitely like to try and secure Stephen for next season,” Brown said. 

“He has a great left foot and I thought he played a big part for us following his arrival from Nottingham Forest.

“I will definitely be talking to them about Stephen and hopefully we can sort something out.”

McLaughlin scored during Southend's play-off semi-final victory over Stevenage and also played in their Wembley success over Wycombe Wanderers. 

His attacking instincts throughout his loan spell gave Southend a potent weapon going forward and Brown clearly feels that he is capable of playing at a higher level.

The Shrimpers will need to make a number of additions to their squad if they are to compete in League One, and it seems that McLaughlin will be among the first that they try and get through the door.

Nottingham Forest's plans for the midfielder remain unclear, as he remains some way down the pecking order at the City Ground, and a deal could be reached in the near future if the right terms are put forward.

That said, Dougie Freedman will also be keen to have a look at all of those available to him during his first pre-season in the Reds hot-seat and may see a role for McLaughlin on Trentside.

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