Premier League: QPR start contract talks with Charlie Austin, according to Sky sources

Charlie Austin of QPR celebrates scoring
Image: Charlie Austin: QPR striker celebrates scoring one of his 11 goals this season

Queens Park Rangers have opened contract talks with striker Charlie Austin, according to Sky sources.

Austin has 18 months of his current deal remaining and Rangers are keen to keep the player at Loftus Road.

The 25-year-old has been in impressive form and his hat-trick in the 3-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday took his goal tally to 11 for the season.

Former QPR captain and manager Gerry Francis believes current boss Harry Redknapp will be desperate to hold on to the player.

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Francis told Sky Sports News HQ: “He’s really important to QPR. Harry’s been talking about buying a new striker, but certainly they’ll be wanting to make sure they can keep Charlie because I’d imagine a number of people will be interested in him at the moment.”

Ex-Rangers midfielder Trevor Sinclair believes Austin has the attributes to have a lengthy career at the top of the game.

Strengths

Sinclair said: “If you look at his strengths, he’s superb at attacking the ball in the air, his anticipation in the box - he gets in the right positions and sometimes that’s something you can’t really teach a forward.

“They’ve either got that in their locker or they haven’t and he seems to have it. He anticipates where the ball is going to bounce and gets there first, and when he gets in the positions he’s a fantastic finisher.

“So I think you bring in all those different qualities and he’s a ready-made centre-forward to do well in the Premier League.”

Reports last week suggested Austin had turned down a new deal at the club but, speaking at the weekend, Redknapp insisted there was no chance of the England hopeful being sold in the transfer window.

"If we sold Charlie Austin we might as well go home, you know what I mean,"  Redknapp said.

"We need Charlie to keep doing what he's doing and he can't afford to take his foot off the gas. I'm not saying he will do it but there's nothing to stop him going on and having a fantastic season. His target would be around 20 goals now with the way he's going at the moment. It's not impossible.

"He's a goalscorer. He wants to score. He works hard, he's got a great attitude. He isn't a minute's problem. There is no side to him - he ain't lairy and gets on with it. He's a lovely boy who's been to work for a living and is now playing Premier League football.

"Goalscorers find a yard of space. It's a knack - he's in the right place at the right time. If you score 20 goals in the Championship you'll score in the Premier League. It's not rocket science, it's that knack that people have got - they've been scoring goals since they were kids."

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