COLCHESTER United look unlikely to re-sign their former striker Freddie Sears in this month's transfer window.

The U's are on the lookout to bring in a new forward to replace Luke Norris, who has joined their League Two rivals Stevenage.

Colchester have been linked with a swoop for their former player Sears, who is currently plying his trade for Ipswich Town.

Steve Ball admits the U's have contacted their East Anglian neighbours about Sears.

However, the Colchester boss admits it is unlikely that the 31-year-old will return to the JobServe Community Stadium, this month.

Ball said: "There's been continual talks.

"Luke Norris has obviously moved on and we're just trying to make things happen.

"Freddie was one we liked and obviously looked at and we had some contact with Ipswich.

"At the minute, it looks like that won't be going ahead.

"We're in the market for a striker and possibly others.

"It's good to have the support of the recruitment staff at the club and get those guys pushing names forward and hopefully bring one in soon - that's the plan."

Sears made more than 100 league and cup appearances for the U's between 2012 and 2015, scoring 36 goals.

He is out of contract at Portman Road at the end of the season, although the Blues do have an option for a further year.

The forward was not named in Town's 18 for their League One clash with Swindon Town last Saturday, despite being fit.

And Ipswich need to offload senior players if they are to add, as they currently have 21 out of the maximum of 22.

However, it looks as though Sears will not be joining Colchester, this month.