Date: 27th January 2019 at 6:00am
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According to the Telegraph, Aston Villa are interested in signing Southampton striker Charlie Austin who ‘will leave the club this month’ as a result of a lack of first-team football. The 29-year-old has been short of playing time this season and wants to move from St Marys before the January transfer window shuts. Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly battling Villa for his signature.

Austin has made 16 Premier League appearances this season, scoring two goals and has spending the majority of the campaign on the bench. A lack of minutes each week has led to his form spiralling, and stiff competition in attack from Danny Ings, Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long makes Austin’s hopes of more gametime even more unlikely at Southampton.

Villa want to capitalise on his unhappiness by bringing him to the Midlands, but the Saints have a valuation in mind before they consider letting Austin go. The Telegraph also report that Southampton don’t want to price the striker out of a move, so a deal could be agreed in the coming days. Villa have funds available for the right targets, so they’ll be firmly in the mix to sign Austin.

Dean Smith has a fervent need to recruit a new centre-forward with Tammy Abraham due to return to Chelsea at the end of the season and Scott Hogan likely to be sold in the summer, but Wolves might throw a spanner in the works if they go all out for the Saints forward.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Dean Smith is ‘not welcoming’ any bids for Aston Villa’s out-of-favour man in January

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