Aston Villa join lengthy list of suitors for QPR hotshot

Charlie Austin’s 17 Premier League goals may not have been able to save QPR from the drop this season, but they have ensured that he won’t be playing in the Championship for a while.

A growing list of clubs want to pluck the former Non League frontman from Loftus Road this summer, with Tim Sherwood and Aston Villa the latest to add their names.

The Villans, who themselves could be losing their primary source of goals in Christian Benteke this summer, are thought to be willing to offer £15m for the Hoops star, in the hope that it beats off the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle for his signature.

Regardless of whether Benteke, also a target for the Reds, ups sticks and leaves during the close-season, Sherwood needs another striker to add to his current crop.

The brutish Belgian and the long-serving Gabriel Agbonlahor have held a duopoly over Sherwood’s two striking spots since the former Tottenham man took the reins, but he will need more than that pair over the course of an entire campaign next term.

Andreas Weimann clearly isn’t trusted by Sherwood and the need to purchase another option for goals looks glaring as the Villans head into the summer’s shopping season.

Naturally, QPR will want to maximise their profits on Austin, who is the league’s fourth-top scorer at the time of writing, and the £20m price tag Les Ferdinand slapped on his star striker could prove to be an effective stumbling block as far as Villa’s pursuit is concerned.

Of course, should Benteke be sold to Liverpool, then that will provide further funds to finance a deal for Austin, although it’s likely everyone concerned with Villa would much rather have the pair playing together in claret and blue.

The Villans close out their season at home to Burnley, where they are a 1/1 chance to complete a victory.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.