The R's front man struck 18 times in the Premier League last season and has been tipped to move to Tyneside this summer. But McClaren's latest comments suggest that's far from the case.
Indeed, he is quoted as saying by the Gazette: "There’s been a lot of talk about that throughout the weeks but we've not been in contact with QPR and they’ve not with us so no, that’s just a name that circulates and has been going around."
Now, if this is the Newcastle boss simply trying to play the market, what is there to gain from being so blunt about it?
The Magpies have been so heavily linked with Austin this summer that there is no chance of those links dying down. If McClaren is being honest, however, are Newcastle really ready for the new season without the QPR forward?
Papiss Cisse is the club's current no.9, while 20-year-old Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez could give the St James' Park outfit hope going forward. Austin has been an expected signing for some time, though.
It's wonderful transfer news for QPR, then, but could Newcastle be making a big mistake not going for Austin - or not having him wrapped up by now if they are?