Everton boss keen to sign Southampton star for second time this year as Chelsea circle key man

Everton boss Ronald Koeman is keen to sign Southampton’s Charlie Austin for the second time THIS YEAR as Chelsea circle Romelu Lukaku, according to reports from the London Evening Standard.

The 27-year-old forward only moved to the Saints from QPR during January of this year in a deal worth £4m, but has struggled to make an impact on the South Coast and may fall down new manager Claude Puel’s pecking order.

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And reports claim that he could be offered an escape route by Koeman, who sees Austin as an option with Lukaku attracting serious attention from Chelsea.

The Blues are believed to be willing to wait it out until as late as transfer deadline day to snap up the Belgian, which could leave the Toffees short of cover up top.

It’s understood that Austin is seen as an option by Koeman, who is keen to get in two centre-forwards – he started winger Gerard Deulofeu as a striker during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Spurs – before the looming deadline.

Although the former Swindon Town and Burnley ace’s reputation has somewhat dipped of late, he boasted a fine goalscoring record at QPR, having netted 45 times in just 75 starts for the Super Hoops.