Report: Newcastle United negotiating to sign QPR striker Charlie Austin

Newcastle United have opened talks to sign Charlie Austin, it is being reported.

Newcastle United have opened negotiations to sign QPR striker Charlie Austin, report The Sun.

It is claimed he is the club's top priority in the transfer market and the Toon are keen to make him their first summer signing under soon-to-be unveiled boss Steve McClaren.

Negotiations are said to be at an early stage, but the news is a positive step for the club, if they can go on to seal the deal.

Austin has recently been called into the England squad, elevating his profile and no doubt his price tag, after a superb individual season for QPR despite their relegation.

Only three players scored more goals in the Premier League than Austin last term, a feat all the more impressive considering his side did not survive the drop.

Sergio Agüero Man City 26
Harry Kane Tottenham 21
Diego Costa Chelsea 20
Charlie Austin QPR 18
Alexis Sánchez Arsenal 16

Newcastle themselves came narrowly close to being relegated, guaranteeing safety only on the final day of the season with a win over West Ham.

Club legend Alan Shearer challenged Austin earlier this week via Twitter, reported The BBC, to try and break his goals record by signing for the club.

Signing Austin would be a show of investment in British signings by owner Mike Ashley, which he promised to do after they survived relegation, and get their summer off to a positive start.

Austin's QPR teammate and outspoken former Newcastle star Joey Barton has however warned the striker off moving to the club, reported the Shields Gazette, citing 'instability'.

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