Newcastle are having to play a waiting game with Charlie Austin – because of Chelsea’s interest in the striker.
Leicester City yesterday had a £12million bid for Austin, one of the Magpies’ top summer targets, rejected by QPR.
Newcastle, yet to make a signing, have held discussions with QPR over a move for Austin, who is also being tracked by West Ham, Southampton and Crystal Palace.
But managerless Leicester are the only club so far to have shown their hand.
Austin is on honeymoon in Dubai and it it understood that the 25-year-old is reluctant to make a decision on his future until he knows whether Premier League champions Chelsea will firm up their interest in him.
As such, Newcastle and West Ham have held back from tabling an offer to QPR, who value Austin in the £15million bracket.
Jose Mourinho – who yesterday signed ex-Manchester United loanee Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco – is also looking for a back-up striker, and Austin is under consideration for the role.
A move to Chelsea or West Ham would also mean Austin would not have to uproot his family, though he has not ruled out a move to Tyneside.
Both London clubs would also offer Austin big wages, which would have to be matched by Newcastle, who owner Mike Ashley insists will now look to win a cup after years of prioritising the Premier League.
Steve McClaren, Newcastle’s new head coach, is well aware of the challenges facing the Tynesiders this summer.
And the Magpies emailed fans a letter from McClaren this week.
McClaren wrote: “I know the anticipation is already out there and you want to see new players coming through the door immediately. That is natural. For me as head coach, however, is is so important that that right players come through the door.
“However long that takes, I want to make sure that we have just the type of people who can come in and force us forward.”
In the meantime, McClaren is working with the players he inherited ahead of the first friendly at Gateshead on Friday. McClaren is hopeful of a breakthrough before he takes his squad to the USA a week today for a three-game tour.