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Europa League round of 16 draw

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Hull and Stoke in race to sign Pizarro

Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro is at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war between Premier League new boys Hull and Stoke City. Stoke have already smashed the club transfer record with the £5.5million capture of Dave Kitson from Reading and manager Tony Pulis wants to further boost his attacking options with a deal for Pizarro.

The Potters want to sign the Peruvian hit-man on a season-long loan deal that will cost around £4million in fees and wages.

But they face stiff competition from newly-promoted rivals Hull who have also made an approach for the former Bayern Munich forward.

The Tigers have failed to lure Kevin Davies, Marlon King and Fraizer Campbell to the KC Stadium and manager Phil Brown has turned to what he describes as the 'expensive option'.

'We've made contact with Chelsea with regards to Claudio,' Brown told the Hull Daily Mail.

'It's a very expensive option, but again, it would be an option if we were allowed to speak to the lad. If that happened then who knows?

'But as far as we are concerned we have made contact with Chelsea and that's where it lies at the moment.'

Pizarro will be allowed to talk to interested clubs this week, with Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari deeming the 29-year-old surplus to requirements, but there is also interest from abroad.

Pizarro scored only two goals in 31 games for the Blues last season, although 21 of those appearances were from the bench.

Hull open their Premier League campaign against Fulham on Saturday with striker Caleb Folan a doubt after sustaining an abductor injury and 39-year-old Dean Windass set to start up front.


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