Southend United manager Steve Tilson has admitted to being disappointed at losing midfielder Nicky Bailey, who is poised to join Charlton Athletic.
The 24-year-old is expected to join the Addicks in the near future, leaving Tilson to try and replace one of his key players.
He told the club's official website: "We have done a deal with Charlton now and I'm disappointed to lose Nicky.
"I'm not sure he wants to be here and in that situation it would have been difficult to have kept him.
"We are losing one of our most influential players from last year and at this stage of the season it is a body blow.
"To have done all the pre-season and then suddenly lose one of my best players is disappointing, as he will be near-on impossible to replace."
Bailey only joined the Shrimpers a year ago from Barnet and scored 12 goals in 56 appearances for the Roots Hall club.