Steve McClaren’s response when asked if he wants to sign Charlie Austin

Steve McClaren

Queens Park Rangers star Charlie Austin is reportedly being targeted by Newcastle United, Southampton, West Ham United and Aston Villa.

Newly-appointed Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren has told The Chronicle that he wants to sign a striker in the summer transfer window.

However, the former Nottingham Forest and Derby County manager has refused to confirm his interest in Queens Park Rangers star Charlie Austin.

“I'll be talking about targets with Lee Charnley and Graham Carr,” the Englishman told The Chronicle during an extensive interview when asked about signing Austin.

“No one has mentioned anything to me yet – I read the speculation the same as anyone else.”

However, McClaren made it clear in the interview that he wants to sign a striker.

“One thing I want to see is exciting players – a bit of pace, a bit of speed and individualism,” said the former Middlesbrough manager. “This crowd has always had a No 9-style player and it’d be great to get one of them in.”

Austin was arguably the best player for QPR in the recently concluded 2014-15 campaign.

The 25-year-old scored 18 goals and created 23 chances in 35 Premier League appearances, had a pass accuracy of 66% and a shot accuracy of 67%, and won 86 headers, 15 dribbles and 16 tackles.

The fact that QPR got relegated to the Championship means that the London outfit are set to lose Austin, who has been linked with a number of top-flight English clubs.

According to The Mirror, Rangers are “resigned” to losing the former Burnley star, but they will demand at least £15m for him.

Southampton, West Ham United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa are also reported to be interested in the services of Austin.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch