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BREAKING NEWS: Southampton sign QPR striker Charlie Austin

Holly Thackeray | January 16, 2016

Saints snare Austin from QPR

Southampton have signed striker Charlie Austin from Championship club QPR on a four-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around the £4m mark.

This headline-grabbing signing comes amid speculation that current forwards Shane Long and Graziano Pelle are transfer targets for Liverpool and Italian giants Juventus respectively.

While, Manchester United have long been linked with a move for flexible Senegal forward Sadio Mane. Saints have struggled to recapture their previously scintillating form under Dutch coach Ronald Koeman this campaign, with just seven victories and 28 strikes in 21 Premier League games.

So, a winter spending spree was clearly needed with the south coast club languishing in 12th place, with Austin an ideal signing to give Southampton (5/4 with Coral for a top 10 finish) the edge in close clashes.

The English attacker, yet to capture a Three Lions cap but previously called-up, was tipped to move on last summer, as the Hoops dropped back down into the Championship. Yet, after a reported deal with fellow second-tier side Hull City fell through due to fitness concerns, Austin has gone on to score 10 goal in 16 games.

Catching the eye of Premier League clubs again, the prolific poacher was also linked to the likes of Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.

Having hit 18 in the English top-flight last term, there could still be time for Austin to impress England coach Hodgson with Euro 2016 just around the corner and the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck fitness concerns.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise after only beginning playing professional football back in 2009 and has shown an impressive nose for goal at every level since.

Queens Park Rangers v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship - Loftus Road

Speaking of the move, Austin said: “I’m delighted to have got it over the line so soon into January. I can’t wait to get started now. As soon as Southampton showed an interest that was the one club I wanted to go to.

“You see the progression from when I was playing against Southampton for Swindon. For me, it was important to come to a club that’s on the up and that’s what I’ve got here.”

While, Saints Executive Director of Football, Les Reed, added: “This signing is an indicator of our intent to finish the season strongly and continue the progress we’ve made in the last few years.

“Charlie shares that ambition. He has a fantastic goalscoring pedigree, but remains hungry to improve and develop as a footballer – something that convinced him that Southampton is the ideal next step in his career.”

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