EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Bristol City are plotting an ambitious last-gasp move for Southampton striker Charlie Austin amid fears their pursuit of Eddie Nketiah could hit the skids, Football Insider understands.
A number of Premier League and Championship clubs have been linked with the 30-year-old this summer, but now City are considering a late swoop before the transfer window closes this evening.
A club source told Football Insider that they have turned their attention to Austin amid growing fears Arsenal rising star Nketiah will choose Leeds United ahead of them.
In what amounts to a major twist in Leeds’ loan pursuit of the 20-year-old, there is a growing sense at Bristol City that the Yorkshire giants will win the race for Nketiah.
Austin’s future at Southampton has been uncertain all summer after finding himself surplus to requirements at St Mary’s.
As revealed by Football Insider, the Saints are willing to cash in on forward this summer as Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to complete the shake-up his squad with a firesale of senior players.
Bristol City have money to fund a move for Austin following the sale of Adam Webster to Brighton, but they will have to convince the proven striker to drop down into the Championship.
The former Burnley, QPR and Swindon Town forward has scored prolifically at Premier League, Championship and League One level during his career.
In the Championship Austin has played 129 matches and scored 66 goals, while in the Premier League he has netted 34 times in 106 appearances.
In other Leeds United news, Marcelo Bielsa is freezing out senior outfield international and wants him gone today.