ROBBIE Cowling says Colchester United know exactly the business they want to do this summer.

And the U’s chairman says they are keen to snap up their new signings as early as possible, as they build for next season.

Having appointed Hayden Mullins as their new head coach this week, Colchester are busy talking to their transfer targets as they begin to shape their squad for the 2021-22 campaign.

The likes of Callum Harriott, Harry Pell and Jevani Brown were among a total of 11 players released by the U’s on Friday, meaning they are on the lookout for replacements.

Colchester have been linked with the likes of Alan Judge, Freddie Sears and Luke Chambers as they begin to mould their squad.

And U’s owner and chairman Cowling says they are hoping to snap up some new signings as early as possible.

Cowling said: “We had a lot of players out of contract and we’ve released a lot of those.

“There’s not many that we’re retaining for this year.

“We’ve got some exciting opportunities for players to come in.

“There’s going to be a fair bit of movement, this year.

“We’re seeing at the moment that there are lots and lots of players being released.

“What we don’t really know is where the market is at, at the moment with Covid and what clubs can and can’t afford.

“We’re in a position where we have a budget that we know we can spend, next year.

“We’ve got a lot of opportunities to bring players in.

“If we can do our business early and bring players in for what we think is the right money for us, we’re not going to worry if that’s the actual real market value or not.

“We know the business that we want to do and the characters we’re looking for.

“I’m hopeful that we can get some announcements done fairly early.”

Colchester have released 11 players – the majority of whom were due to see their contracts end this summer - while Frank Nouble, Aramide Oteh and Josh Doherty have all seen their loan spells end.

In addition, Ben Stevenson and Michael Folivi are awaiting discussions and/or decisions, while long-serving defender Tom Eastman and left-back Ryan Clampin have been offered new deals.