Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin has emerged as a shock transfer target for the reigning Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea according to reports in the Telegraph Sport.
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Austin enjoyed a brilliant debut season in England’s top flight on a personal level as he struck 18 league goals for a side that struggled near the foot of the table all year.
With the Hoops relegated back into the Championship, the 25-year-old is almost certain to leave and has become a target for a host of Premier League clubs. It would appear that Jose Mourinho is the latest high-profile coach to register an interest in the player.
The Blues are understood to be keen on recruiting another striker in the summer following the release of club legend Didier Drogba on a free transfer, and feel Austin would be a suitable replacement.
However, the West London outfit could face strong competition from Newcastle United following speculation that Steve McClaren has placed Austin at the top of his list of transfer targets [via SkySports].
Chelsea’s interest in Austin is likely to raise questions over plans to sign former Manchester United loanee Radamel Falcao after Sky Sports reported that talks between the Blues and AS Monaco were ongoing. Mourinho has confirmed his interest in the Colombian hitman, despite him only managing four goals in the Premier League last term.
Should a deal for either of the two strikers go through then it is likely to spell the end for Loic Remy’s time at Stamford Bridge and talks over an £8 million move to London rivals West Ham are underway if reports in the Sun Sport are to be believed.
Crystal Palace are also thought to be interested in the Frenchman, and Mirror Sport revealed on Thursday night that Alan Pardew is keen on a reunion with the 28-year-old, who he managed at Newcastle during the 2013-14 season.
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea’s interest in Austin is genuine or not, but to be linked with a team with the stature of the Blues is a testament as to how high his stock has risen in the last 12 months.
Further evidence of this is the call-up to the England national team and he will be hoping to make his international debut in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia at the weekend.
The 25-year-old previously played for the likes of Burnley, Swindon Town, Hungerford and Poole Town before moving to QPR in 2013.