QPR chairman Tony Fernandes believes Charlie Austin could have stayed

Charlie Austin

The striker moved to Southampton in the January transfer window.

Charlie Austin would have stayed at QPR if they were in a better position in the Championship, chairman Tony Fernandes has told the Mirror.

The striker departed Loftus Road in the middle of the January transfer window, joining Southampton for £4million.

That deal was widely regarded a fine piece of business by the Saints, as QPR sought to get any fee for their star man instead of losing him for free in the summer.

Before his move, it had been thought that Austin would remain at the club until the summer transfer window, and Fernandes says that may have been the case had they been higher in the league.

“A club that he really wanted to go to came in and made an offer, so we said okay. We took what money we could,” he told the Mirror.

“I tried very hard to extend his contract, we were close while in the Premier League and the we lost one game and he got nervous about it.”

“If we had been higher in the table I think Charlie would have stayed and helped take us up. It wasn’t cashing in, he wanted to go.”

Austin will now be hoping that he can help his new side secure a place in the top six this season and European football next year.

Ronald Koeman’s side are currently sixth in the table; just a point behind Manchester United in 5th after an impressive run of form has seen them surge up the table.

They are also just seven points behind Manchester City in 4th, meaning a Champions League place is not out of the question yet either.

He has already made a positive impact with the winning goal over Manchester United on his debut, and will be keen to add a few more as they eye up that top four.

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