Les Ferdinand has added yet another layer to the never ending Charlie Austin transfer saga.
The Queens Park Rangers Director of Football has been speaking about the club’s star asset to the London Evening Standard.
While spinning the usual/predictable line about hoping the striker stays, Ferdinand says that Charlie Austin WILL want to go if one of the ‘struggling’ top six come in for him.
Presumably Les Ferdinand is referring to teams who would usually expect to be top six, with Chelsea being the most obvious.
However, if Chelsea are going to splash out in January then you would expect them to be setting their sights higher and more expensive than a Championship forward, especially when they already have Loic Remy sitting on the bench and never getting a game.
The top six reference is almost certainly wide of the mark despite Charlie Austin continuing with an excellent goalscoring record, with another 10 this season from only 12 starts and a few sub appearances.
Far more likely is a club further down the table who are looking to either cement their progress (Crystal Palace?), or more likely those looking to pull out of trouble at the bottom, such as Newcastle, Sunderland or Villa.
“I’m realistic and sometimes that gets people upset but there are teams in the top six of the Premier League that are struggling.
“If one of those teams come in and bid for Charlie, he will want to go because that’s where he sees himself.
“Charlie’s goals per game ratio is up there with the best in the country.
“But obviously we would love Charlie to stay until the end of the season because we would have a great chance of making the play-offs.”
QPR are now 17 points off the top of the table and a 1-1 draw at lowly Bristol City leaves them only mid-table with a small chance of a play-off place.
That result was achieved without Charlie Austin and when asked about his missing striker, manager Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink’s answer will hardly convince anybody that the forward is staying at QPR.
It sounding very much like QPR are protecting their asset ahead of a January sale.
“Charlie Austin had a little tweak in a hamstring during training so we didn’t want to risk him in this game.”
Newcastle fans are also left waiting on Papiss Cisse, with the Newcastle striker having a scan today after injuring himself against Aston Villa. If injury prevented a potential sale of the Senegalese striker in the transfer window, would that lead to Mike Ashley putting the block on any move for another forward?