Premier League sides Newcastle United and Sunderland are reportedly set to go head-to-head to sign Championship ace Charlie Austin in January.
The Tyne-Wear rivals, who are both engulfed in a relegation battle so far this term, are eyeing New Year moves for the Queens Park Rangers striker ahead of next month’s transfer window.
The 26-year-old, who was called up to the England national first-team squad back in May, has scored seven goals in 14 Championship appearances for QPR so far this season.
New Hoops boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink admitted his arrival at Loftus Road will not guarantee that star striker Austin will stay at the club until the end of the current campaign, with Steve McClaren’s Magpies and Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats ready to pounce.
Austin, who was playing non-league football with Poole Town just six years ago, scored a sensational 18 league goals during his debut season in the Premier League last term.