By Harvey Byrne
Everton have lined up a move for Southampton striker Charlie Austin, according to a report.
The Evening Standard claim that Ronald Koeman is keen to sign Austin and one other striker, which could boost Chelsea’s chances of signing star Romelu Lukaku.
It is also claimed that QPR are targeting the Englishman, 27, in a loan deal but Austin wants to remain in the Premier League.
Koeman brought Austin to St Marys in a £4million deal from QPR in January.
It is believed that if the Dutch manager does sign Austin plus another forward then he may be more willing to allow Lukaku to rejoin Chelsea.
Austin has made just eight appearances for the Saints during his seven-month stay at the club, with just two starts after scoring on his debut from the bench against Manchester United.
He was restricted to an 83rd minute substitute appearance for the Hampshire club in their opener against Watford, with new signing Nathan Redmond picked ahead of him.
Nevertheless, Austin is a proven goalscorer and was wanted by a number of Premier League clubs after scoring 45 goals in 75 starts at former club QPR.
His record in the English top flight is equally impressive, with 19 goals from 43 appearances in the competition.
In other Everton transfer news, Yannick Bolasie is close to joining the Toffees after he agreed personal terms and passed a medical with the club.