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Villa should hijack Newcastle’s pursuit of Austin



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Newcastle are interested in signing Charlie Austin to bolster their attacking ranks ahead of the new season. Ayoze Perez joined Leicester City, Joselu joined Alaves and Salomon Rondon returned to West Bromwich Albion after last season’s loan spell, so Steve Bruce needs new additions to his frontline.

Aston Villa are in a similar position. Tammy Abraham returned to Chelsea while Jonathan Kodjia & Scott Hogan have struggled for form and no longer command a starting place. Keinan Davies and Rushian Helpburn-Murphy might struggle for minutes in 2019/20 too. Villa were linked with a move for Austin earlier this summer and should consider returning for him to add strength in depth.

The 30-year-old has an uncertain future at Southampton and could be open to leaving the club to get first-team football in 2019/20. Austin has scored only three goals in all competitions since April 2018 and has fallen down the pecking order under Ralph Hassenhuttl as a result.

The £70k-per-week striker has an £8m asking price, but that fee may be negotiable – Southampton recently offered Austin to Newcastle, which suggests they’re desperate to offload him before the summer transfer window shuts. Austin has been short of form at St Mary’s in the last 12 months, but he has contributed 44 goals 106 Premier League games so he could be an effective top-flight striker in the right system.

Stats from Transfermarkt.