Charlie Austin's former manager Harry Redknapp has warned the striker about joining Premier League champions Chelsea, instead encouraging the player to join Newcastle United, reports the Daily Mail.
Steve McClaren has made the England international his top target for the summer transfer window after Newcastle owner Mike Ashley gave the go-ahead towards the end of last season to invest in the problem areas of the squad.
Newcastle struggled to find the net for the majority of last season, contributing in part to their battle for survival and have identified the need for a replacement striker as a must in order to freshen up their lacklustre attack.
Having been relegated with QPR last season, Austin has become an attainable target as he seeks to leave the R's in order to continue his status as a Premier League striker, causing Newcastle to throw their hat into the ring.
However, Chelsea too have emerged as candidates for Austin's signature in light of Didier Drogba's retirement and Loic Remy expressing his desire to leave the club in search of first-team football.
At £15million he would be a relatively inexpensive acquisition by Chelsea's standards. And his experience as a proven Premier League goalscorer adds to his appeal.
Furthermore, Chelsea's interest has intensified in recent days following reports that Austin wishes to remain in London, thus opening up a move to the champions. However Austin's former manager at QPR, Harry Redknapp, feels that it would be a mistake for his former no.9 to head to Stamford Bridge.
Noting the competition he would face for a place in the Chelsea attack in the form of Diego Costa, Redknapp instead feels that Austin would be better suited at Newcastle where he could prosper under Steve McClaren.
"A move to Newcastle would be the best one for Charlie Austin.
"He’s rumoured to be on Chelsea’s radar as well but, no disrespect to him, he won’t make their starting line-up.
"They only play one up front and he’s not going to replace Diego Costa
"He’s 25 and he’s scored some good goals and I think Newcastle would be a good move for him and a good challenge.
"He’s a good lad and knows Steve McClaren from when Steve was at QPR and I reckon he’ll do well at Newcastle.’
Although it would come across as a lack of ambition by avoiding the greater challenge, in essence it is sensible advice from Redknapp, as there is nothing to suggest that Austin would be guaranteed playing time at Chelsea.
After all, his predecessor at QPR, Loic Remy, also faced the same challenge and even though he managed to score a respectable amount of goals on the rare occcasion he played, ultimately he still failed to relinquish Costa from his starting place in the Chelsea line-up.