Former Newcastle striker Michael Owen tells Magpies to sign Charlie Austin

The Queens Park Rangers forward was on Newcastle's radar last summer.

Former Newcastle United forward Michael Owen has suggested that his old club should go after Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin during the January transfer window, the Newcastle Chronicle reports.

The 26-year-old was on the Magpies' radar last summer, but the Chronicle reports that the club were not willing to pay £15m to make a move happen. 

But with Steve McClaren's side among the lowest scorers in the Premier League, Owen believes that signing the Hoops hitman should be a priority for this window. 

"There are players out there who you wouldn't have to pay too much for," he told the Chronicle.

"The one that springs to mind and has been touted is Charlie Austin.

"He scores goals and you know if you sign him and play him regularly, he will get you 15-plus goals a season, almost as a guarantee. That sort of signing might excite fans."

As mentioned, Newcastle - who currently sit in the Premier League's bottom three - have struggled to find the back of the net this season, with just 19 strikes in the top flight - only Swansea and bottom side Aston Villa have scored on fewer occasions this term. The statistic is all the more worrying when it is considered that six of Newcastle's goals came in one game when they thrashed Norwich in October. 

Meanwhile, Austin has managed 10 goals for Rangers this campaign, and proved last year that he can handle the step up to the top division. 

And with his contract due to expire at the end of the season (via Get West London), he may well be available for a much lower fee than a player of his calibre would normally demand. And if he can score the goals that keep Newcastle up, whatever the fee that is required to bring him in from Loftus Road will seem like very good business. 

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