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Is now the time for Newcastle to finally sign Charlie Austin?

Charlie Austin

The seemingly never-ending saga between Newcastle and QPR could finally be drawing to a close in January, one way or another.

After constant contact between Newcastle and Queens Park Rangers in the summer with transfer fees a sticking point, Austin opted to stay in London despite knowing he would be playing in the Championship with Euro 2016 on the horizon.

The striker scored 18 Premier League goals last year in a dismal QPR side and has again done himself credit with 10 goals so far this season, despite Rangers languishing 15th in the Championship.

Newcastle are battling to beat the drop, sitting in 18th place heading into the new year, and are desperate for a goal scorer who can save their season, and with it the financial bonuses that come with a place in the Premier League.

With current strikers Aleksandar Mitrović, Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez having netted only nine goals between them, boss Steve McClaren may have no choice but to stump up the same £15 million fee that was quoted to him in the summer to finally land the prolific Englishman.

Austin is out of contract in the summer and whilst a free transfer would of course better suit the North-East club, it would also attract other suiters who perhaps aren’t willing to pay for the former Burnley and Swindon hitman.

January’s crucial window could finally see the 26-year-old finally move to Tyneside if the deal is right.

But former Toon manager Alan Pardew, now at Crystal Palace, is likely to rival any Newcastle bid with The Sun reporting that Austin is now on the Selhurst Park radar after the termination of Patrick Bamford’s loan. With Palace pushing for European football, combined with the familiar location of London, Austin may opt for the Eagles.

Both sides can assure the former non-league striker of first team football and with his desire to play at Euro 2016 evident, all signs point to Austin running out in England’s top flight come January.

Whether this is at Newcastle, Palace, or somewhere else, is yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure, the Magpies won’t have a better chance of signing him than in the next 31 days.

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