Livid Charlie Austin hits back at ‘outrageous’ David Sullivan slur

Charlie Austin has hit back at an “outrageous slur” from West Ham owner David Sullivan after he said signing the player would be a big risk for the club.

The 26-year-old QPR striker has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs over the summer after scoring 18 goals as the Hoops dropped out of the top flight last season.

West Ham are one of several sides who have reportedly looked to make a move for Austin but QPR have not budged from their £15m (€21m) valuation.

But, when asked if Austin was a target, Sullivan was bullish about the former Burnley striker’s injury record.

“They say he has no ligaments in his knee, who knows?” Sullivan said.

“To sign a £15m (€21m) player is a big risk. He could go on for years, but knowing our luck his knee will go in his first game and that’s the end of it.

“If we had £100m (€140m) to spend we may say ‘we’ll spend £15m (€21m) and gamble one-sixth of our budget’. But it’s not one-sixth of our budget, it’d smash our budget to bits.”

Austin released a personal statement on Twitter in reply to the Sullivan comments, defending his fitness and his professionalism.

“I feel I have no option but to address the inaccurate, misleading and uninformed innuendo about my physical condition that has been raised today by an individual who is not privy to my personal health history,” his statement read.

“It is one of a number of inaccurate reports about my so-called injury problems which have been made over the summer.

“For the record, there is nothing wrong with my “ligaments”, as has been suggested. My strength and performance in pre-season has been excellent and with two goals in my last two games I don’t think there is any doubt my match sharpness is as good as ever.

“I scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season, which would not be possible were I feeling discomfort.

“Like many professional footballers, I have the legacy of injuries picked up over my career but the effect on my day-to-day training and on matchday is non-existent.

“For a senior figure at a Premier League club to insinuate that I could break down at any moment is an outrageous slur on my professionalism and the work that has gone into making me the footballer than I am today.”


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