Charlie Austin has broken off from QPR’s pre season training in Italy, to answer the ongoing speculation about his future.
The Rangers striker says that he is concentrating on getting himself fit (for whichever team he’ll be playing for…) and leaving his future in the hands of his agent and the QPR backroom staff, led by Director of Football and one-time Newcastle hero, Les Ferdinand.
“What’s going on at home is for other people to worry about. That’s for Les (Ferdinand), Chris (Ramsay), my agent and Tony (Fernandes) to sort out.
“For me, I’m here to get my head down, work as hard as I can and hopefully get a couple of games under my belt and prepare for Charlton on the 8th of August.
“Until I’m told otherwise I’m a QPR player and I’m preparing for the Championship next year and if I’m told otherwise then so be it.”
It seems inconceivable that the striker who scored 18 Premier League goals for bottom club QPR will still be at Loftus Road next season but it is a classic Mexican stand-off as we await who makes the next move.
Les Ferdinand says that only Leicester have made a bid so far, with the currently managerless side widely reported to have offered £12m which as Sir Les says, they instantly turned down.
“We have a valuation for Charlie and if nobody pays it then he will be staying with us.
“We have heard about all the clubs interested but Leicester are the only club to make a bid and we turned it down. Charlie has joined up with the first-team squad today and is in good spirits.”
For all there is talk of QPR being willing to let Charlie Austin stay and run down the final year of his contract, if nobody meets their valuation, it would surely be one of their most catastrophic financial decisions (amongst the many) if the forward stayed and they didn’t get instantly promoted back to the Premier League.
Considering the mess they found themselves dealing with in the financial fallout of recent seasons, how they can avoid further sanctions if they don’t deal on Charlie Austin to help get closer to balancing the books is anybody’s guess.
Mike Ashley has shown in the past that he is prepared to wait longer than anybody to try and get the very best deal, this approach often leaving Newcastle short as Ashley’s constraints prevented any leverage in eventually landing the player(s).
This summer I just can’t see the point of bringing in such a promising player as Wijnaldum, without also seriously addressing the centre-forward and centre-back positions.
As for Charlie Austin specifically, you have to think that if he’d had a more orthodox career path of playing only at Championship/Premier LEague level, rather than having had to drop to non-league, then he would have been snapped up by now at QPR’s asking price.