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 By PA Sport

Newcastle still have Charlie Austin in their sights - Steve McClaren

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren admitted they still have interest in QPR's Charlie Austin.

QPR striker Charlie Austin remains on Newcastle's radar as the club continues to plan its three-transfer-window recruitment strategy.

The Magpies monitored Austin's situation throughout the summer as it appeared his days at Loftus Road were numbered in the wake of QPR's relegation from the top flight.

However, they -- and indeed their competitors for the 26-year-old's signature -- were unwilling to meet Rangers' £15 million valuation of a player who scored 18 league goals last season.

Instead, they will continue to maintain a watching brief and could yet make a move in January or next summer.

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Asked about Austin, head coach Steve McClaren said: "He has been on Newcastle's radar from the second half of last season and during the summer, and he will stay on the radar, definitely.''

In the meantime, McClaren and his players are focused simply on the task of launching their season in earnest after collecting just two points from their opening four Premier League games, two of which have seen them reduced to 10 men before slipping to defeat. The team have a Monday night match with West Ham.

The former England boss has been tasked with securing a top-eight finish having seen owner Mike Ashley sanction the investment of more than £52 million in new signings over the summer. Although his squad remains a work in progress, he is making no predictions.

McClaren said: "At this present moment, I am not targeting anything at all other than trying to get this team to play how I want the team to play, and how I can, in my mind, envision what we can do.

"We are not there yet. Until I get that, I can't say, 'We will do this' or 'We will do that'. It is too early for that.''

Newcastle will be without the suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic at Upton Park with either Papiss Cisse or Ayoze Perez in line to replace him.

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