There’s an exclusive being reported tonight in the Express that there’s a three-way battle going on for the signature of Charlie Austin of QPR, and that cannot be good news for Newcastle, who were odds-on favorites only a week ago to sign the 25 year-old striker.
Charlie Austin – Magpies, Hammers and Chelsea after him
Director of Football Les Ferdinand is adamant he wants £15M for Charlie, and he could well get that amount for a striker who scored 18 Premier league goals in just 35 appearances for relegated QPR last season.
The news is that Newcastle are now in serious talks with Charlie and his agents, but as yet there has been no offer from Newcastle, and in the last 24 hours the news was that West Ham had become favorites to sign the striker – who is due to be married at the end of the month.
It seems the last thing Charlie wants to do is sign for a side that will struggle against relegation next season, and with what has happened in two of the last three seasons at Newcastle, the Magpies may have to convince him he is part of a huge rebuilding program this summer on Tyneside.
That could prove difficult since we haven’t signed anybody this summer yet.
West Ham and Chelsea may have the advantage that Charlie can remain in the London area – but the Hammers are said to be balking at paying the £15M fee QPR are demanding.
It’s still not clear that Chelsea really want Austin, but if Loic Remy leaves the club this summer, which seems likely, then Jose Mourinho will need another strike brought in.
But with Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao ahead of him in the pecking order, Charlie may not get too many games at Stamford Bridge – which is the reason Remy wants to leave.
The news seems to be that Charlie would prefer to remain in London, but Chelsea and West Ham seem unwilling to pay out £15M, and the best chance Newcastle have of signing Charlie is to agree to pay the £15M now – so they can then negotiate wages with the 6’2″ striker.
Whether Newcastle will be bold enough or ambitious enough to do that we don’t know – but that could seal the deal.
It would be great if Newcastle can get Austin signed up – but it would also be a huge disappointment to the Geordie fans if Newcastle fail in their attempts to sign a player who is undoubtedly our number one target this summer.