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Spurs target Charlie Austin could snub Villa and Newcastle for a “top half” club

Charlie Austin's manager has admitted that the striker is likely to go, but only to a club toward the top of the league.

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Charlie Austin is one of the strikers that has been the subject of much speculation during this offseason transfer window. While he's still a Queens Park Rangers player, that seems unlikely to continue with QPR relegated to the Championship and a lot of larger clubs sniffing around him. His manager, former Spurs assistant Chris Ramsey, admitted that it's likely that Austin will move, but emphasized that he'll only move to a club that is top half in the Premier League.

"We have to be realistic, it's unlikely he'll stay... We want to keep him but it's unlikely, the club is in a financial position that it needs to recoup some money and I think for his ambitions he wants to keep playing in the Premier League to go to the Euros.

"We've been offered £12m and turned it down so we're looking in excess of £15m - goalscoring is something you can't coach, it's just a habit that some people have.

"He's aiming to go to a team that's in the top half of the table, if he doesn't then he could stay."

On the surface, this makes a lot of sense. The 26-year old Austin was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreadful year for QPR, scoring 18 goals and contributing seven assists, and earning himself a call-up to the England squad. This has put him on the radar of a number of clubs, including Aston Villa, Newcastle, Spurs, and even Chelsea.

If we're to take Ramsey's comments at face value, his "top half" comment would seem to eliminate a number of clubs. Aston Villa and Newcastle are both heavily linked to Austin, but are coming off of sub-par seasons that saw both of them in the bottom half. Chelsea seems unlikely to go for Austin considering their current striker stable. That would seem to put Spurs, if they're truly interested, in the mix alongside possible interest from clubs like Southampton, Crystal Palace, and Stoke City.

Austin would be a pretty fantastic fit at Spurs as a backup and rotation option to Harry Kane, but the £15m price quoted for him is pretty steep. QPR has already rejected a £12m bid from Leicester City for Austin so we know they're serious about not selling for cheap, and Ramsey seems to think that Austin will keep his head down and stay if Rangers' valuation isn't met for him this window.

Nobody really knows if Tottenham are seriously interested in Austin. They probably should be, but I would guess that unless they can find a way to bring that price down below £15m they may pass and look elsewhere.