According to the London Evening Standard among others, Austin has been a summer-long target for Newcastle, with West Ham also joining the race for the 25-year-old's signature.
Chelsea and Southampton have also been mooted but Ladbrokes report a flurry of activity on the QPR man joining West Ham, forcing them to shorten odds very quickly from 6-1 to 3-1.
The speculation, however, has not desisted - and West Ham are now just behind Chelsea in the running, although Newcastle remain the favourites.
The Ladbrokes odds list reads as follows:
West Ham 3/1
To stay with QPR 16/1
Aston Villa 16/1