London - Southampton have bolstered their
attacking options by signing striker Charlie Austin from Queens Park Rangers,
the Premier League club announced on Saturday.
Austin, 26, has signed a
four-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee reported to be in the
region of $5.7 million.
Austin was the top-scoring Englishman in
the Premier League last season with 18 goals, but he could not prevent QPR
being relegated to the Championship. In total he scored 48 goals for QPR in 89
"I'm delighted to have got it over the
line so soon into January. I can't wait to get started now," Austin told
the Southampton website.
"As soon as Southampton showed an
interest, that was the one club I wanted to go to. You see the progression from
when I was playing against Southampton for Swindon.
"For me, it was important to come to a
club that's on the up and that's what I've got here."
QPR were reported to have valued Austin at
around 15 million during the close season, but Southampton have been able to
sign him for a cut-price fee as his contract was due to expire at the end of
"It's no secret that Charlie is out of
contract in the summer so this is a decision made in the best financial
interests of the club," said QPR director of football Les Ferdinand.
Austin is uncapped, but was called up by
England for the first time at the end of last season.
The former Swindon Town and Burnley striker
will provide competition for Graziano Pelle and Shane Long, who are
Southampton's joint-top scorers with seven goals to date this season.