Sheffield United: Blades-linked striker Charlie Austin left out of Southampton pre-season tour squad
Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been left out of his club's pre-season training trip to Austria, suggested that he's likely to leave the club this summer.
The bookies make the Blades strong favourites to sign Austin, with Sky Bet offering short odds of 1/3 that he’ll be at Bramall Lane by the end of the current transfer window. Aston Villa are second favourites at 7/2, while Crystal Palace are sitting at 16/1 alongside Fulham.
It is important to note that Chris Wilder – who has been transparent with his transfer plans for the summer – has made no mention of an interest in the former QPR man, as the club continue to push for striking targets such as Brentford's Neal Maupay and Swansea City marksman Oliver McBurnie.
Signing two strikers, however, certainly isn't out of the question for the Blades this summer. Signing both of the aforementioned targets would set the club back at least £30 million, but a deal for one of the forwards plus Austin could prove a far more cost-effective option.
The 30-year-old has struggled with injury problems and a lack of goalscoring form since joining the Saints for £4 million in 2016, but will be desperate to regain his reputation as a formidable and ruthless striker.
Austin made his name with Burnley in the Championship, before bursting onto the Premier League scene with Queens Park Rangers, where he scored 18 goals in one superb top flight campaign.