Craig Fagan has held positive talks with Southend to take over as manager.
Fagan, who is currently the U23s boss at the Shrimpers, has applied for the first-team role after Sol Campbell left the job by mutual consent on June 30.
It is understood that a number of players are supportive of Fagan's bid to become the new manager - and attempt to bring them straight back up to League One next season.
Former Tottenham, Arsenal and England defender Campbell had only been in the post for eight months, but he said he was "not keen to be a financial burden on the club" after they were relegated when the 2019-20 season was curtailed.
Southend have endured financial hardship in recent years, even before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Campbell's staff of Hermann Hreiðarsson, Andy Cole and Tony Colbert also left the Essex-based side last month.
Fagan, 37, played in the Premier League with Derby County, having been part of their promotion-winning team in 2007.
He was a vastly experienced EFL player, with over 150 games under his belt for Hull City, as well as spells at Colchester, Bradford City, Bury and Gillingham.
His U23 side have been top of the Central League this term.