Southampton have signed Charlie Austin for £4m from Queens Park Rangers, securing the striker on a contract until 2020.
The 26-year-old has scored ten goals in 16 Championship appearances this season at Loftus Road and was destined to be out-of-contract in the summer. The Saints made their move largely under the radar this week, agreeing a fee considerably less than the £12m Leicester City were willing to pay seven months ago.
Despite being a star of his maiden season in the Premier League last term, scoring 18 goals, Austin rebuffed further interest from Newcastle and Crystal Palace.
Speaking at St Mary's ahead of his new club's match against West Bromwich Albion, the former Burnley man said: “I’m delighted to have got it over the line so soon into January. I can’t wait to get started now.
“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 director of Football, Les Ferdinand, said: “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.
“Charlie has had a significant impact on this football club in his time here and we are hugely grateful to him for his contribution during his spell with us.
“Whilst we are sorry to lose Charlie, once he expressed an interest in moving to Southampton, we could not stand in his way.''