SOUTHEND United have stepped up their pursuit of Crystal Palace striker Kwesi Appiah.

The speedy forward impressed against the Shrimpers while on loan at AFC Wimbledon last season.

And Blues are now believed to have made contact with the Eagles in a bid to bring him to Roots Hall on a season long loan.

“There are two or three other clubs in for Kwesi as well but Southend feel as though they are in front at the moment,” said a source close to the club.

“Crystal Palace have decided that they want Kwesi to do pre-season training with them for three or four weeks which Southend aren’t really too happy about.

“There’s not much they can do about it though and they’re still confident of him coming to in for the season and adding some more pace to their attack.”

Blues had previously been waiting for Palace boss Tony Pulis to return from his holiday making their move but they have now made their interest known.

Appiah, 23, scored three goals in six starts while with AFC Wimbledon last season and won a penalty to help the Dons win 1-0 at Roots Hall in April.

He also spent time on loan with Notts County last term and has enjoyed several other temporary stints with a number of sides.

Appiah, who joined Palace in January 2012, has been with Cambridge, Yeovil and Aldershot.

In total he has scored 16 goals in 39 starts during his career.