Chelsea striker target told he’s free to leave club: Door opens for Stamford Bridge move

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Chelsea have been given a boost in their apparent interest in Southampton striker Graziano Pelle after the south coast club told him that he is free to leave following the acquisition of Charlie Austin at the weekend, according to ESPN.

At 30-years-old, the Saints don’t feel that it’s worth offering the Italian international a new deal, and are now prepared to allow him to leave if a good offer comes their way.

It had been thought that Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long would be jettisoned after Austin’s arrival, with Liverpool believed to be keen on his signature, but it has now emerged that Pelle is the man they’re willing to let go.

However, Chelsea are short of strikers themselves, as Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao are both nursing injuries, and given that he has bagged 25 goals since his move to the Premier League manager Guus Hiddink may feel that he is worth the outlay as a stopgap.

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