Chelsea ready to take poll position in £15m Charlie Austin race

Chelsea could be ready to make a move for Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin after the Daily Express revealed that former favourites Newcastle United have withdrawn their interest in his services.

The Magpies had been heavily linked with the England international all summer following QPR’s relegation back to the Championship, but after much speculation Newcastle boss Steve McClaren has ruled out a move after being put off by his £15m price tag.

Austin bagged 18 goals last season, but McClaren is reluctant to shell out that kind of money in the final year of his contract when he could bring the player on board for free in January.

West Ham have also displayed an interest in Austin’s signature, as Slaven Bilic targets another frontman to partner Diafra Sakho.

However, The Hammers won’t be able to match Chelsea financially, and that could give The Blues an advantage as Jose Mourinho seeks more reinforcements ahead of the close of the transfer window.

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