Newcastle United pull out of race for 18-goal Chelsea target

Newcastle United have pulled out of the race to sign Queens Park Rangers star Charlie Austin, opening the door for Chelsea and West Ham United to pursue the striker, Express reports.

Austin has been heavily linked with a move from the Championship side this summer after an incredibly impressive season in the English top flight, scoring 18 goals in 35 games.

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Newcastle were thought to be one of the front-runners for his signature, but it seems that manager Steve McClaren has backed off after QPR demanded £15million for the England international, especially with Austin in the last year of his contract.

The Magpies’ reluctance to meet the Hoops’ asking price is set to alert the Blues and the Hammers, with both interested in signing reinforcements before the transfer window closes in two weeks.

Chelsea have got their season off to an awful start and could do with another attacker, while West Ham need to sign a striker to cover for Enner Valencia’s long-term injury.