COLCHESTER United are yet to make a new signing, this summer.

But that absence of new additions has not stopped the rumour mill from moving into overdrive over the close season, linking the U's with a host of names.

Colchester are planning for another season in League Two, with Steve Ball now at the helm after taking over from John McGreal, last month.

And they will be looking to build on the achievements of last season, which saw them make the play-offs and reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals for only the second time in their history.

But the Covid-19 pandemic - and the impact it has had on football at all levels - has undoubtedly changed the landscape for EFL clubs, Colchester included.

Robbie Cowling has made it clear he will never sign a contract if he cannot commit to fulfilling it - and that he will not gamble with other people’s livelihoods or with the club.

"We will certainly remain competitive as unlike so many other clubs we have a very capable group of Academy players that are ready to step up," said the U's chairman, back in April.

With that in mind, given the challenging financial climate that now exists for EFL clubs and the salary cap that has just been introduced for League One and League Two clubs, it seems Colchester will predominantly be looking at their existing squad to do the business.

There is a feeling within the club that there is a talented squad still in place, despite the departure of Frank Nouble, Luke Prosser, Ryan Jackson, Brandon Comley and Ethan Ross since last season.

The U's will want talented academy players such as Noah Chilvers and Ollie Kensdale to push hard for a first-team spot, along with other youngsters who are a little less established.

And the likes of Jevani Brown, Michael Fernandes and Miles Welch-Hayes will in a way feel like new signings, having barely featured for Colchester in the 2019-20 campaign.

There's still plenty of time for new additions before the new campaign kicks off on September 12.

But realistically, there are unlikely to be many.

Naturally, seeing Colchester being associated with potential signings on social media can be exciting for fans.

But in truth, of the many names the U's have been linked with from such sources over the years, few have actually materialised.

Shaq Coulthirst, ex-Ipswich Town winger Danny Rowe and former U's midfielder Anthony Wordsworth are among the many names Colchester have been linked with on transfer rumour sites, over the past few weeks.

Mason Bloomfield and Ryan Taylor have also been mentioned, while Blackburn Rovers defender Matty Platt was linked prior to his move to League Two new boys Barrow.

But as yet, none of the potential signings have been linked with have materialised into transfers.

That is not to say others will not, before the big kick-off.

However, with purse strings tighter than ever for all clubs, it is unlikely there will be a flurry of transfer activity at the JobServe Community Stadium between now and the new season.