Swindon Town Head of Football Jamie Russell said that he would not be doing his job if he was not interested in Jack Payne.

After Swindon missed out on a potential return for Dan Kemp as he signed a deal with Stevenage in League One, the rumour mill turned to say that Town were interested in another midfield homecoming.

The Deck’s Ryan Whelan reported that Town had turned their attention to Jack Payne after he was let go by Charlton Athletic, with an approach having gone on for the last few weeks and the former Huddersfield Town man continuing to weigh up his options.

Payne spent two seasons at the County Ground, initially as a shining light on the side that was relegated from League One in 2020/21 before being a core member of the team that made the League Two Playoffs the following campaign, contributing to 18 goals as he struck up a fine on and off field partnership with Harry McKirdy.

Speaking to The Adver, Russell confirmed that Swindon were interested in the midfielder, as they would be with all players of his calibre.

He said: “Jack is an excellent player and if you are not interested in someone who is technically very good and has obviously been here previously, so they know what the club is like then you are not doing your due diligence.

“A lot of these players have been on our radar for months and as soon as they get to the end of their contract, or it looks like they have been released then we have already been in contact months before.”

Russell has previously said that he was looking to add players like Payne with experience of success to the group, with Ollie Clarke having already arrived in that mould as he became the club’s first summer signing, the Head of Football explained the influence he hoped he would have.

He said: “When we talk about lessons learned from last year, Ollie Clarke’s personal standards, what he expects from players around him, and how he will be in the changing room will be a huge plus for the club.

“On the pitch, he is that person that goes and wins the ball back and sets up attacks, so he is going to break up the play really well and I think he will accompany Nnamdi [Ofoborh] very well in that position.”