Liverpool and Leicester battle to sign experienced Serie A striker

According to The Sun reports Premier League giants Leicester City are preparing to beat Liverpool to the signature of Fiorentina highly-rated midfielder Josip Ilicic in the summer as they are lining around £11.5million bid for the Slovenian.

Premier League title contenders Leicester assistant manager Steve Walsh and director of sport Jon Rudkin were spotted in the stands monitoring the player during the Florence side’s 2-0 Serie A defeat to Empoli

The Foxes and Liverpool target has a reputation as a free kick specialist and has already managed to bag 12 goals in 25 league appearances this season.

As it stands Josip Ilicic isn’t the first player that they are looking to bring in as Ranieri and Leicester as they plan for life in the Champions League next season.

It’s believed that Merseyside Reds are considering using Italian forward Mario Balotelli in a swap a deal for the 28-year-old star.

Meanwhile, Ex-Liverpool ace Phil Thompson is expecting to see Belgium international forward Christian Benteke leave Merseyside Reds in the summer transfer window.

Belgian striker Benteke has struggled to produce consistent performances under German manager Jurgen Klopp this term since arriving at the club from relegation zone team Aston Villa.

Former Aston Vila forward has netted seven goals and made two assists in 25 Premier League games for the Reds this season but has only started 12 of those matches.

His last goal for the club came in the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace back at the start of March.

Ex-Liverpool man Thompson is fully expecting to see the 25-year old star shipped off to another club in the summer transfer window.

“You don’t need to be an expert or an insider to see that Benteke will be looking to move on in the summer. We’re all trying to read between the lines and I don’t know anything definite but it looks like he’s all but gone.” said Thompson speaking to the Sky Sports.

“I would say for the sake of his own career he needs to leave. He’s got the Euros coming up and he’s going to be sat on the bench with Romelu Lukaku starting and he won’t want the same to happen next season.

“He can’t do the pressing game that Jurgen Klopp demands and you can’t have £32.5m strikers sat on the bench playing a bit part.

“Danny Ings is coming back as well and he’s more suited to doing what Klopp expects, so Benteke could find himself fourth in the pecking order.”