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Huddersfield to beat rivals to Southend star Payne

HITC Sport understands Huddersfield Town are set to win race for Southend star.

Huddersfield Town are poised to land highly-rated Southend United midfielder Jack Payne, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.

Southend have been resigned to losing their prized asset with Payne out of contract at Roots Hall this summer and the club unable to agree a new deal with the player.

A number of Championship clubs as well as Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam have expressed an interest in Payne, but Huddersfield have moved quickly to agree a deal for the 21-year-old.

Sparta won promotion back to the Dutch top flight by winning the Eerste Divisie this season and their scouts have been alerted to the performances of Payne as they look to bolster their squad for next term.

Payne is understood to be keen to stay in England at this stage of his career and he has been impressed by the ambition of Huddersfield.

Huddersfield boss David Wagner is understood to be a big admirer of the attacking midfielder and sees him as a central to his plans next season.

Payne scored nine goals in 35 appearances for Southend last season and he is regarded as one of the best young talents outside the top two divisions.

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