Steve McClaren’s broken his silence on Newcastle United’s interest in Charlie Austin.
The striker was high up the club’s summer shopping list.
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
But Queens Park Rangers’ £15million valuation put off Newcastle – and Austin stayed at Loftus Road.
The 26-year-old will be a free agent next summer, and could now be sold at a knock-down price in January.
And United head coach Steve McClaren has insisted that Newcastle remain interested in Austin ahead of tonight’s game against West Ham United at Upton Park.
“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,” said McClaren.
McClaren had previously refused to discuss United’s interest in Austin, who scored 18 Premier League goals last season.
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan angered Austin last month by claiming that signing him would be a “big risk” given his medical history.
Austin has had shoulder and knee problems, and he failed a medical at Hull City two years ago while at Burnley.
But his fitness was not a concern to McClaren, who worked with him during a brief spell as a coach at QPR.
Responding to Sullivan’s remarks, Austin said: “’I feel I have no option but to address the inaccurate, misleading and uninformed innuendo about my physical condition that has been raised by an individual who is not privy to my personal health history.
“Like many professional footballers, I have the legacy of injuries picked up over my career but the effect on my day-to-day training and on match-day is non-existent.”
The main issue for Newcastle was the fee – and relegated QPR’s stubborn refusal to re-evaluate it.
Austin, meanwhile, scored his fifth goal of the new season in the west London club’s 2-1 home defeat to Nottingham Forest on Saturday.