Newcastle’s long-running pursuit of Charlie Austin nearing an end

Charlie Austin
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Newcastle United are increasingly hopeful of signing Charlie Austin – but the club is yet to agree a fee for the striker.

One bookmaker yesterday stopped taking bets on Austin moving to St James’s Park after a flurry of wagers.

The 26-year-old – who netted 18 Premier League goals for Queens Park Rangers last season – was backed into 1/10 to join Newcastle before Skybet pulled the market.

United, facing competition for his signature, have been involved in discussions with the Championship club.

But the club has not agreed a fee, with QPR holding out for £15million.

Leicester City had a £12million offer turned down last month, and Newcastle have been reluctant to meet their valuation.

Austin is understood to be interested in a move to Tyneside, but he first wants to know if Premier League champions Chelsea intend to firm up their interest in him.

Meanwhile, Georginio Wijnaldum, United’s only signing up to now, trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday.

The midfielder travelled to California to meet up with his new team-mates ahead of tomorrow’s game against Sacramento Republic at Bonney Field.

Midfielder Mehdi Abeid and defender Lubo Satka also travelled to the USA to join Steve McClaren’s squad.