Newcastle have been forced to play a waiting game over Charlie Austin

Charlie Austin

Charlie Austin

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Newcastle United are having to play a waiting game with Charlie Austin – because of Chelsea’s interest in the striker.

Leicester City yesterday had a £12million bid for Austin rejected by Queens Park Rangers.

Austin is one of United’s top summer targets.

And there is impatience on Tyneside at a perceived lack of urgency in the transfer market, not least as it is yet to bid for Austin.

Newcastle, yet to make a signing, have held discussions with QPR over a move for Austin, who is also being tracked by West Ham United and Southampton.

But managerless Leicester are the only club so far to have shown their hand.

Austin is on honeymoon in Dubai following his wedding late last month.

And the Gazette understands that the 25-year-old is reluctant to make a decision on his future until he knows whether Chelsea will firm up their interest in him.

As such, Newcastle and West Ham have held back from tabling an offer for £15million-rated Austin.

Jose Mourinho – who yesterday signed ex-Manchester United loanee Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco – is also looking for a back-up striker, and Austin is under consideration for the role.

A move to Chelsea or West Ham would also mean Austin would not have to uproot his family, though he has not ruled out a move to Tyneside.

Both clubs would also offer Austin big wages, which would have to be matched by Newcastle, who owner Mike Ashley insists will now look to win a cup after years of prioritising the Premier League.

Steve McClaren, United’s new head coach, is well aware of the challenges facing the club this summer. And the club, which is looking to sign six players, emailed fans a letter from McClaren this week. McClaren wrote: “I know the anticipation is already out there and you want to see new players coming through the door immediately. That is natural.

“For me as head coach, however, it is so important that the right players come through the door. However long that takes, I want to make sure that we have just the type of people who can come in and force us forward.”

In the meantime, McClaren is working with the players he inherited at the club ahead of the club’s first pre-season friendly against Gateshead on July 10.

McClaren is hopeful of a breakthrough before he takes his squad across the Atlantic a week today for a three-game tour of the USA.