GLEN REA’S future is up in the air – but it looks set to be away from Albion.

The Seagulls activated the option year on Rea’s contract.

They are, however, likely to allow the Republic of Ireland under-21 defender to leave for a small fee, with League One Southend and League Two Luton Town heading the potential buyers.

Rea’s first team involvement with Albion this season was restricted to two early outings in the Capital One Cup.

Lewis Dunk, Connor Goldson and Uwe Huenemeier are all ahead of him in the pecking order. The Seagulls will also be signing a replacement for departed captain Gordon Greer and have awarded a contract to Tom Dallison from the under-21s.

Twenty-six of Brighton-born Rea’s 28 appearances this season came on loan to Southend, where he veered between the first XI and bench, and for Luton where he finished the campaign as a regular starter under the command of former Albion assistant and coach Nathan Jones.

Luton have already signed Alan Sheehan, Rea’s partner at the heart of the defence, and Jones is keen to re-establish the pairing.

Southend boss Phil Brown is also a fan of Rea, who has become a regular member of the Republic of Ireland under-21s since qualifying to play for them through his late grandfather.

Rea’s future will be resolved by the time the Irish resume their European Championship qualifying campaign with a trip to Serbia at the beginning of September.