West Ham may yet snatch Charlie Austin from Newcastle’s grasp


Priced at 2/9 to join Newcastle United this summer, it may look as if Charlie Austin’s future is decided. But are West Ham about to come in and change all that?

A report in the London Evening Standard suggests Slaven Bilic has set his sights on bringing the QPR striker to the Boleyn Ground, and the market has moved accordingly.

A flurry of interest in Ladbrokes’ betting on Austin’s next club saw the Upton Park outfit go from 18/1 to 6/1 in the space of 24 hours.

The north-east still looks his likely destination, but it appears far from the done deal it seemed last week.

With a price tag of £15m on his head, the 25-year-old wouldn’t come cheap, but with an excellent season in a poor Rangers side behind him, his acquisition could be a big piece of business.

Throw in his surely-imminent introduction onto the international scene, and the former Swindon striker may be seen as a worthwhile investment.

A move for the forward has already been urged by former Hammer Dean Ashton.

“If it was me in charge at West Ham, I’d go out straight away and put the money down QPR want for Charlie Austin,” he told the Daily Star.

“He scored 18 Premier League goals last season in a team which was struggling.

“I know what it’s like to play in teams when you’re not playing every week and it’s tough. You only get a few chances and he’s so clinical.”

The east London side remain behind or level with Newcastle, Chelsea (3/1) and Southampton (6/1) in the betting to secure his signature, though with the champions seemingly intent on bringing in Radamel Falcao, they may yet step aside.

And with little interest in the Saints in Ladbrokes’ market, the money suggests the Irons are the side in pole position to sneak in should any move to Steve McClaren’s side fall through.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.