Liverpool hesitancy sees Stoke head queue for German strike ace

Liverpool’s apparent hesitancy in signing Bayer Leverkusen forward Stefan Kiessling has left the door wide open for Stoke City, according to reports.

New Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was widely expected to return to Germany in the New Year with a bid for the 31-year-old striker but according to the Daily Mail a change of strategy at Anfield has left the deal dead in the water.

Instead, it is Stoke City who head the queue, with Mark Hughes looking to add an experienced frontman to his Potters squad.

Hughes has had successful dealings with Bundesliga clubs in the past, bringing both Philipp Wollscheid and Joselu to the Britannia Stadium from the German top flight.

Kiessling made a name for himself when breaking through the ranks at FC Nurnberg, where 15 strikes in 73 league outings convinced his current employers to snap him up in 2006.

An impressive record of 125 goals in 302 league appearances for Leverkusen shows the six-cap Germany international has all the right credentials to boost Stoke’s attack.

Stoke currently sit in 11th place in the Premier League but with just 13 strikes from 16 games – the same number as bottom club Aston Villa – it is clear there are improvements to be made.

Next up for the Potters is the visit of Crystal Palace, with Hughes’ men priced up as the 11/8 favourites to take all three points.

Stoke are currently a 13/8 shot to finish in the top 10 and those odds could soon disappear in the New Year should a new striker arrive – Kiessling or otherwise.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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