BLUES boss Phil Brown is attempting to make Southend sexier than Chicago in his bid to sign striker Noel Hunt.

The experienced Irishman is wanted by both the Shrimpers and Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire.

But Brown is doing all he can to try to make sure Hunt opts to join Blues.

“We’re battling with Chicago to sign Noel so I’ve been doing everything I can to sex up Southend and make it more appealing than Chicago,” laughed Brown.

“I’ve told him all about the town and how Adventure Island was the third best theme park in the country and the 11th best in Europe.

“It’s quite hard to be able to compare anywhere to Chicago but we’ve done our best.

“We’ve obviously had the more serious conversation about football as well and how we see Noel fitting into our team but it’s up to him now really.”

Hunt, who has met with Brown for talks, is available on a free transfer following his release from Ipswich Town.

The 32-year-old began his career in Ireland with Shamrock Rovers before moving to Scotland and playing for Dunfermline and Dundee United.

After that the striker spent five years with Reading before teaming up with both Leeds United and Ipswich Town.

Hunt, whose brother Stephen is still with Ipswich, has made 367 appearances during his career, scoring 81 goals.

He has also won three caps for Republic of Ireland and Brown is desperate to bring him in as the Blues boss attempts to bolster his strike-force.

Brown is still keen on bringing back Joe Pigott who ended last season on loan with the Shrimpers from Charlton Athletic.

But he does not expect to sign another of his transfer targets Craig Mackail-Smith who Brown had hoped to bring to the club for a trial.

“I still haven’t heard back from Craig’s agent,” confirmed Brown.

“Maybe he thought League One might be a bridge too far for him.”