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New boss McClaren moves to freshen up Newcastle attack

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren, who has just taken the helm at St James’ Park, is lining up moves for a plethora of forwards as he looks to strengthen his front line for next season and he has been nothing if not ambitious in identifying targets, with a reported £40m available to him.

QPR’s Charlie Austin, who is odds-on at 1/6 with Coral to move to Tyneside, is expected to be the subject of a serious bid from the Magpies. The sticking point is the fee, with Newcastle valuing the prolific striker at £10m while the west London outfit are holding out for £15m so further negotiation is likely.

Austin, who scored 18 Premier League goals for a struggling Hoops side last term would be a breath of fresh air at St James’ Park, and represents the kind of signing that fans admire, with some pundits even predicting he could have the same impact that club legend Alan Shearer had.

In addition, McClaren is also interested in West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino, who really burst onto the scene last season with 14 goals in the league for a team who were, again fighting for survival for the majority of the campaign.

However, the price tag for the 21-year-old is in the region of £20m which represents a big chunk of the club’s transfer budget. Despite owner Mike Ashley apparently saying to McClaren and chief scout Graham Carr: “There you go. That is your job – go and do it. Here are the resources.”

Ashley was referring to the £34m cash in the bank and £19m profit and there would likely be more made available in the form of personal investment, if the right signings were identified and the recruitment staff presented a positive case.

Andy Carroll has also been lined up as a potential target for a return to his old club, however, West Ham would be looking to recoup at least the £15m outlay that they spent to secure his services, while to take a risk on an injury-prone striker could be detrimental in the long term.