Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion reportedly both want to sign Charlie Austin this summer.
Charlie Austin looks set to be on the move this summer, with The Sun reporting at the weekend that the Southampton striker is wanted by clubs in the Premier League and Championship, including Aston Villa and West Brom.
Austin has struggled at St Mary’s, but could be a shrewd signing for any of the interested clubs, with The Sun suggesting that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are looking for around £8 million for the 29-year-old.
The report noted that the Baggies are prepared to meet that asking price. And while a switch to the Hawthorns would see Austin drop down a division, Slaven Bilic’s men may be optimistic about a potential deal given that they will find it easier to provide assurances over game-time than their rivals for his signature will.
It may not be a huge setback for the Villans if they miss out on Austin. It would not be a surprise if they wanted the former QPR man as an understudy next season, so they can probably afford to lose out.
Nevertheless, if Austin does join West Brom, Dean Smith should perhaps respond by making a move to land Jay Rodriguez, amid reports that the Baggies may be powerless to stop the Englishman from leaving this summer.
The Express and Star recently reported that a number of Premier League sides want Rodriguez, who has a release clause in his contract worth £10 million.
Rodriguez was excellent in the Championship last season – though he infuriated Villa fans with one of his goals – and has previously shown that he can make an impact at the highest level.
So if Villa miss out on Austin to West Brom, perhaps Smith should look to make sure that his side still manage to increase the depth within their striker ranks by targeting Rodriguez.