Southampton striker Charlie Austin could end up in the wilderness this season if he cannot find a move before August 8, reports suggest.
The 30-year-old forward has been told that he is not going to be part of the Saints’ plans next season and must leave the club if he wants to play football. It was made clear by Ralph Hasenhuttl as early as April that if he wanted to play first-team football then he would have to find another club, as reported by the Daily Echo.
Now with less than a week before the window slams shut he is still yet to find a club. Austin has been excluded from first-team duties all pre-season and has been kept away from the dressing room.
The response from Austin has hardly been accepting. The Daily Echo reports that the striker posted a picture on Twitter of someone being frozen out before later deactivating his account. It was also claimed that Austin snubbed a move to West Brom in the Championship as he wanted to remain a Premier League player.
Charlie Austin can have no complaints if he is not even getting on Southampton’s bench next season as it has been made very clear to him that he’s not part of Hasenhuttl’s plans.
The Berkshire-born forward has struggled for form over the past few seasons. He has played 49 times in the league over the past two campaigns and has only managed to register nine goals.
For a player like Austin – who has struggled with injuries – that is not good enough to justify keeping him around.
As mentioned within this ReadSouthampton article, Austin’s lack of mobility does not suit Hasenhuttl’s high-intensity style of football, which is why the Austrian has preferred players who can press more.
It is an important aspect of his philosophy and, when the Saints were linked with another striker in Jean-Kevin Augustin back in January, Hasenhuttl said (via Sky Sports): “He has got qualities, he is quick, can score and is used to the high-pressing methods we use, so that would help him if he would be here,” indicating what the former RB Leipzig manager wants from his No.9.
Considering these facets and the fact that Austin only has one year left on his deal, there is no surprise that Southampton are looking to cash in.
Austin may have to find himself accepting an offer from the Championship if he doesn’t want to be rotting in the reserves this season. Based on all of the above, he looks finished at St. Mary’s.
Newcastle have been touted as a potential option for the player, though time is running out for a potential deal to get over the line.
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