Colchester boss Geraint Williams has admitted he is considering a move for Hogan Ephraim in the January transfer window.
Ephraim spent last season on loan at Layer Road but is now back at West Ham.
He is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with a £500,000 switch to Colchester.
"Hogan was with us last year and he is a player we liked a lot," said Williams.
"We're always looking to improve the squad and Hogan is a player who could do that. He's certainly one we are looking at."
White determined to win back place
Colchester defender John White is focused on breaking back into the team but admits he may have to leave if opportunities do not arise.
The 21-year-old has made just three appearances this season due to the emergence of George Elokobi.
"I haven't been in this situation much before and I'm learning as I go along," he told the Colchester Gazette.
"I just want to play football and if it's not happening here then eventually I would have to think about moving on.
"My main aim is to carry on playing for Colchester and if I can't get there then maybe it will time to move on. But for now, I'm working to get back into that first team."