COLCHESTER United have made signing a wide player a top priority, this summer.

The U’s are keen to bring in a new left-sided attacker before the new League Two season starts, on August 3.

Colchester have stepped up their search in that area following last month’s departure of Brennan Dickenson, to MK Dons.

The U’s have been linked with a loan move for Brighton and Hove Albion winger James Tilley, along with Essex-born wide-man Ricky Holmes of Sheffield United.

Plymouth Argyle’s Joel Grant, who is due to be out of contract at Home Park this summer and is yet to sign a new deal, is also rumoured to be on Colchester’s radar.

U’s head coach John McGreal said: “We are looking in those wide areas.

“That is pivotal for us, for next season.

“Dicko played at left-back for us towards the end of the season and Noubs (Frank Nouble) played in a left-sided role.

“And Ryan Clampin came into that fold for us from the under-23s.”

Dickenson, who turned down the chance to stay at the U's after rejecting the offer of a new contract, finished last season in Colchester’s left-sided attacking role.

However, Frank Nouble was deployed in the role for much of the U’s 2019-20 campaign, while loanee Abo Eisa also featured there.

Colchester, who return for pre-season later this month, want to bolster their squad ahead of the new season.

Dickenson's departure, along with the exit of Mikael Mandron and Ryan Gondoh who were not retained by the club, has left them with fewer attacking options.

And the probable departure of last season's top scorer Sammie Szmodics before the transfer window closes is likely to make the addition of players in that department even more imperative.