It seems like almost every club in the Premier League are after a new striker this summer, perhaps with the exception of Manchester United, and Charlie Austin will likely be on a few sides’ radar in the next few months after his prolific season in the Championship.
Austin scored 28 times for Burnley last year, and was the first man in Europe to reach twenty goals, ahead of such illustrious names as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
While he could not quite sustain that fantastic start, the 23-year-old is still going to be an attractive option for Premier League sides, with Stoke and Hull currently the two teams reportedly leading the chase.
Their need for a new forward is obvious. Stoke’s top scorer last year was Jonathan Walters, who managed just eleven goals, eight of which came in the league. Peter Crouch scored seven in the league, with no other player getting more than three.
Meanwhile Hull’s top scorer was Robert Koren, with just nine, and despite gaining automatic promotion Steve Bruce knows he desperately needs to improve his attacking options if his team are to avoid relegation next season.
It is Hull who are apparently the closer of the pair to signing Austin, although reports they have already agreed a deal with Burnley have been dismissed by the Championship club.
Burnley are said to want around £7million for Austin, a steep price-tag for a Championship player despite his fine season. However having seen Cardiff spent £7.5 on Andreas Cornelius, Hull might feel they need to dig deep to keep pace with their rivals.
Stoke are under new management for the first time in the Premier League, with Tony Pulis leaving to be replaced by Mark Hughes, who might hope Austin can help reshape the side in his image. Changing Stoke’s notorious style will not be something achieved overnight, if indeed Hughes is even planning on doing so, and they will need substantial investment in the transfer market this summer, perhaps starting with Austin.
image: © joncandy