Lucrative Chinese offer for Chelsea target Pelle

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Graziano Pelle of Southampton celebrates scoring their fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Sunderland at St Mary's Stadium on October 18, 2014 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Chelsea target Graziano Pelle is set to depart Southampton but for the prospect of a £13million move to China, not a reunion with Antonio Conte.

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Italy international Pelle scored twice during Euro 2016 as the Azzuri reached the quarter-finals, with Conte informing the Chelsea hierarchy that he wanted to bring the 31-year-old with him when he took over at Stamford Bridge.

However Southampton have accepted a sizeable offer from a Chinese Super League side, reported to be Shandong Luneng, for a player with one year remaining on his contract, earning themselves £4m profit as well.

Conte has already signed Belgium international Michy Batshuayi in a £33m deal but, with Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao having been released in the summer, Chelsea are on the lookout for an additional striker with their new manager planning to operate with a front two.

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Southampton are likely to turn to former QPR striker Charlie Austin as Pelle’s replacement. The Saints have already made two significant sales in the summer window, earning £30m from Liverpool for Sadio Mane and seeing Victor Wanyama head to Tottenham in a £11m deal

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