Belfast Telegraph

Newcastle still tracking Charlie Austin, admits Steve McClaren

By Daman Spellman

QPR striker Charlie Austin remains on Newcastle's radar as the club continues to plan its three-transfer-window recruitment strategy.

The Magpies monitored Austin's situation throughout the summer as it appeared his days at Loftus Road were numbered in the wake of QPR's relegation from the top flight.

However, they - and indeed their competitors for the 26-year-old's signature - were unwilling to meet Rangers' £15m valuation of a player who scored 18 league goals last season.

Instead, they will continue to maintain a watching brief and could yet make a move in January.

Asked about Austin, head coach Steve McClaren said: "He has been on Newcastle's radar from the second half of last season and during the summer, and he will stay on the radar, definitely."

In the meantime, McClaren and his players are focused simply on the task of launching their season in earnest after collecting just two points from their opening four Premier League games, ahead of tonight's trip to West Ham.

The former England boss has been tasked with securing a top-eight finish having seen owner Mike Ashley sanction the investment of more than £52m in new signings over the summer.

McClaren said: "At this present moment, I am not targeting anything other than trying to get this team to play how I want the team to play, and how I can, in my mind, envision what we can do.

"Until I get that, I can't say, 'We will do this' or 'We will do that'. It is too early for that."

Premier League: Upton Park, 8pm (Sky Sports 1)

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph