Report: Liverpool and Leicester City to battle for Shane Long this summer

The Southampton man is reportedly attracting serious interest from Anfield and the King Power Stadium after a fine season.

With a first summer transfer window on the horizon for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, it appears he is already considering other attacking options with the Irish Independent reporting that the Reds are weighing up a move for Southampton striker Shane Long.

Klopp already has Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke, and Danny Ings at his disposal, but with Benteke almost certain to be sold this summer and Sturridge, Origi, and Ings all having suffered injury problems, the German boss may be keen to bolster his talent up front.

Though Long will turn 30 midway through next season, he has enjoyed his most prolific season since netting 21 for Reading in the Championship five years ago, having struck 10 times in 28 Premier League appearances for the Saints this season.

In all club competitions and for the Republic of Ireland, Long has a total of 16 goals to his name, and his overall game has noticeably improved under Ronald Koeman, who said earlier this month that he believes the Irishman has now become a complete striker.

Though it would likely take a significant offer to persuade the Saints to part with Long, with it being suggested that Koeman's valuation could even reach £25 million, the attacker's high-intensity style and his preference for making a nuisance of himself for opposing defenders fits well with what Klopp likes to have at his disposal.

However, the Irish Independent also suggests that Leicester are seriously interested in bringing the 29-year-old to the East Midlands as they look to hugely bolster their squad ahead of next season's status as Premier League champions and Champions League group-stage participants.

The Foxes will need a much-enhanced squad in terms of both quality and quantity, and with Jamie Vardy, Shinji Okazaki, and Leonard Ulloa as their only serious striking options this term, they are likely to want at least one more high-class centre-forward.

Already impressive for Ireland this year, Long will have a wonderful opportunity to show any potential suitors just what he is capable of at Euro 2016 next month, where he is sure to have a significant role to play for his country.

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