Liverpool & Tottenham transfer target won’t leave Italy ‘at any price’

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Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a potential transfer blow in their pursuit of Slovenian playmaker Josip Ilicic.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with the Premier League duo during the January transfer window, whilst both AC and Inter Milan are also keen to bring the player to the San Siro.

However, agent Amir Ruznic insists his client will not be leaving the Rosanero anytime soon, with manager Maurizio Zamparini having no desire to sell one of his biggest assets.

“Ilicic will not leave Palermo. Maurizio Zamparini will not sell him at any price. He is too important,” Ruznic told website TMW.

"In the summer we will sit down and look at the offers. Ilicic wants to stay in Italy. Serie A is his first choice."

The Daily Mail reported at the start of the week that Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was keen to bring the player to White Hart Lane, and the 22-cap international would certainly add another dimension to the club’s midfield.

Having lost Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart in recent summers, Tottenham Hotspur are yet to find the ideal replacement in terms of both creativity and goals from the centre of the pitch.

Ilicic could be the answer, although Brazilian playmaker Willian has also been linked.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have been linked with the player on a number of occasions, and Ruznic was forced to deny speculation over a move to join Brendan Rodgers at the start of the month.

"Ilicic moving to Anfield? Please, I don't know anything at all about that. I haven't spoken to anybody about such a move,” he told Ekipa.

A move to Liverpool now looks even more unlikely, and both Premier League suitors appear set to miss out on the former Bonifika starlet.

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