Charlie Austin is reportedly a target for Championship side West Bromwich Albion this summer as Southampton look to rid themselves of their top earners – and could the striker hand Newcastle a major transfer boost?
Sky Sports have claimed that the Baggies are looking to sign a striker this summer and 29-year-old Austin is high on their shortlist, with the Saints looking to offload the powerful forward this summer.
It suggests the Baggies are in pole position to sign the former QPR striker, after The Sun claimed last week that Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Fulham all wanted the £8million-rated striker.
But Newcastle will surely be hoping that West Brom win the race for Austin, as it would surely provide The Toon with a big boost in their pursuit of finally landing Salomon Rondon on a permanent basis.
Rondon, also 29, shone for Newcastle on loan last season, as he found the back of the net 12 times and proved to be somewhat of a creative force too – laying on seven assists for his teammates.
He acted as an attacking lynchpin and won the hearts of Toon fans as he guided Newcastle towards mid-table obscurity, rather than a relegation dog fight. Despite all that, Newcastle are yet to sign the Venezuelan.
Owner Mike Ashley’s stronghold on funds leaves Newcastle fans frustrated once again – especially after the loss of manager Rafa Benitez. It remains to be seen if Rondon is still keen.
But if West Brom land Austin this summer, the need for Rondon is reduced enormously. He has a release clause of £16.5million, but the Baggies will be desperate to get his pay cheque off the wage bill and would surely reduce his asking price.
Austin, then, could provide Newcastle a big transfer boost in pursuit of Rondon, by moving to the Hawthorns.