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Sunderland, Liverpool in shootout for Ipswich striker Wickham

Sunderland and Liverpool are battling over £12 million Ipswich Town striker Connor Wickham.

The Mirror says Kenny Dalglish is pushing the Anfield suits to make a splash for the powerful target-man, who has been on his radar for months - even before he became manager at the Kop.

However, Liverpool will have to move fast as Steve Bruce's Sunderland have tabled the first bid - £8m, potentially rising to £12m based on appearances and achievements.

Ipswich will sell the home-grown prospect, with boss Paul Jewell prepared to let him go and spend the cash - he is keen on bringing in some Liverpool fringe players as part of the deal, including Jonjo Shelvey on loan for a year.

However, Sunderland may be given permission to speak to Wickham shortly if Liverpool do not match their bid.

Sources close to Wickham reveal that he would like to go to Merseyside - even if that means being an understudy for the first year or two.

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Liverpool transfer market news and gossip.

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