Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints are expected to sell £4m striker Charlie Austin but will he join Premier League newcomers Aston Villa?
Charlie Austin could end up at Aston Villa this summer with Southampton expected to cash in on the out-of-favour striker, as reported by the Sun.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is expected to embark on an overhaul of a bloated Saints squad this summer with a number of big-game flops, from Sofiane Boufal to Jordy Clasie, Wesley Hoedt to Guido Carrillo, likely to be sold.
And Austin is another who does not appear to be part of Hasenhuttl’s plans. The 29-year-old started just 11 Premier League games last season with the former RB Leipzig boss preferring Shane Long and Danny Ings in attack.
A £4 million signing in January 2016 (BBC), Southampton never saw the best of Austin, thanks largely to injuries, but he has proven himself to be a striker of Premier League quality in the past. The one-time Swindon Town youngster plundered 18 goals for QPR in the 2014/15 season.
According to The Sun, newly promoted Aston Villa could now take a punt on Austin. The Villans may need to replace Tammy Abraham, who could return to Chelsea, and Austin would be a solid, if rather unspectacular, addition.
It remains to be seen what Villa boss Dean Smith thinks about the striker but his predecessor Steve Bruce was certainly a big fan.
“I think he would have been a real terrific player for us, as he has proved. He is a goalscorer with a fantastic attitude,” Bruce told Sky in 2015, lamenting a failure to lure Austin to Hull City.