There’s only about two and a half weeks left in the summer transfer window so not much longer to go to see exactly what squad we end up with at Newcastle in September.
The Charlie Austin affair has dragged on as the soap opera of the summer, and now we hear that QPR are offering Charlie a new contract, but we wonder if he’ll be happy staying at QPR, who may not get straight back to the Premier League this time around.
Charlie Austin in action last Saturday at Charlton
In fact we would be very surprised if they did get promoted next May, and just over a year ago they were lucky to beat Derby County with that last minute goal by Bobby Zamora, after they had gone down to 10 men and were being outplayed late in the game.
Newcastle were certainly keen on Charlie early in the summer, but as the weeks and even months have passed by, and we have Aleksandar Mitrovic on board, and Papiss Cisse looks like he’s back to near his best – maybe we don’t need another striker?
That’s especially true if Steve McClaren continues to play a 4-2-3-1 formation that has only one striker up front and allows players like Wijnaldum, Sissoko and de Jong to get chances to score.
And we still have the very impressive Rolando Aarons who has shown he can both create goals and score goals.
So goal scoring doesn’t look like the extreme difficulty it was in the second half of last season.
But when you look at the betting on which club Charlie will join this summer Newcastle are still the favorites.
Whether it’s accurate or not, Newcastle could be losing a little bit of interest in wanting to pay out £15M for a 26 year-old striker.
Not when we already have Papiss Cisse, Aleksandar Mitrovic and also young Ayoze Perez, who scored some great goals for us last season, and he has to be given sufficient playing time to continue his massive improvement at the club.
So it’s looking like Newcastle are losing interest in Austin – but that could also simply be a ruse to get QPR to accept less than the £15M they are after for their top striker.
We’ll know which of the two scenarios is true come September 1st – maybe.