Charlie Austin has not travelled with Southampton on their pre-season tour, and he has supposedly fallen out with Ralph Hasenhuttl – so it looks like Austin’s days with the Saints are over and he could be allowed to leave for a cut-price fee.
Austin is now 30 so could still have at least a couple more years of Premier League football in him and his record in the top flight is decent having scored 34 goals in 106 appearances.
The former Burnley man peaked at QPR where he scored 18 goals in his first Premier League season and when they were relegated in 2015, Austin initially stayed before leaving in January 2016 for £4m.
Since then he has had problems with injuries, but when he has played, he has scored 20 goals for the Saints.
Hasenhuttl, though, looks like he wants to go in a different direction and Austin will likely depart this summer.
Newcastle United should be one of the sides that are in for him because they desperately need to strengthen their strike force.
The Toon have seen Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon depart – ripping 25 goals from the team and leaving their next top goalscorer as Fabian Schar.
At the moment Newcastle have Dwight Gayle – who has scored 21 goals in his entire Premier League career.
The other striker is Yoshinori Muto – who has only scored one goal for the club since he arrived last season.
It is, therefore, obvious to see where Steve Bruce needs to strengthen his side and though it looks like they will be signing Joelinton from Hoffenheim – they could do with a striker who has a proven record in the Premier League, and Austin fits that bill.
With a rumoured £90m to spend Bruce would be wise to take a small portion of that and use it on bringing Austin to St James’s Park.