Leicester’s late Pelle move has real legs thanks to Austin’s arrival


Leicester City’s astonishing title tilt under Claudio Ranieri shows no sign of abating and there could be more good news around the corner for the table-topping Foxes.

With lasting the distance in mind, Ranieri has already plumped up his squad with the January arrivals of Birmingham winger Demarai Gray and Ghana international defender Daniel Amartey.

Now the freshly-signed duo could be joined by a proven Premier League goal scorer, in the shape of Southampton striker Graziano Pelle.

The Italian target man has been a hit on the south coast since he followed Ronald Koeman to St Mary’s from Feyenoord, scoring 18 top-flight goals in one-and-a-half seasons.

However, with Pelle’s returns diminishing a little as the season’s worn on, the arrival of QPR hotshot Charlie Austin earlier this month has suddenly rendered a move to the King Power Stadium more plausible.

Austin bagged himself the winning goal for Southampton at Old Trafford last time out, in a dream debut from the bench.

Given the Englishman’s similar playing style and physical stature to that of Pelle’s, it makes some sense for both Leicester and the Saints to get the deal pushed through.

Despite blossoming later in his career, Pelle is no spring chicken having turned 30 in July, the same month in which Austin, who was an absolute snip at £4m, turned 26.

Cashing in on Pelle now they have a younger version on the books may be the smartest card Southampton can play in the final throes of the winter window.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.