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Saints sign Charlie Austin from QPR

Charlie Austin has signed a four and a half year contract with Southampton Credit: Southampton FC

Charlie Austin says his mind was made up the second he heard of Southampton’s interest.

The striker completed a move to St Mary’s on a four-and-a-half-year contract on Saturday, sealing a return to the Barclays Premier League.

Austin scored 18 goals during his first spell in the top flight last season, but despite plenty of interest from elsewhere, the Englishman knew Saints was the right step for him.

Austin came up against Saints during his time with Swindon Town and says seeing the club’s rise and ambition, which has in many ways matched his, was a key factor in his decision-making.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to move until the summer, but as soon as Southampton showed an interest in me, it was the one club I wanted to go to.

“If we could get the deal as soon as possible I was ready to go, and lucky enough it’s now and I’m delighted.

“You see the progression from when I was playing for Swindon against Southampton back in League 1 five or six years ago. You just look at where they’ve gone from then – straight up to the Premier League, Europa League last season.

“So for me it’s important to come to a club on the up and I can’t wait to be involved. When Southampton came in it was a no-brainer. I think the last five years have shown the ambition the club has and I just want to be part of that now.

“I’m delighted to join forces and hopefully bring my quality into a team with a lot of quality players already here. I can’t wait to meet the lads and show them what I can do on the pitch.”

– Charlie Austin

Pictures: Saints in action at St Mary's. Saints 0-2 Liverpool.

Philippe Coutinho's exceptional strike amid a series of controversial decisions from referee Kevin Friend helped Liverpool overcome Southampton 2-0 in what could prove a crucial result in the chase for a Champions League place.

There was no lack of vim and vigour on display in miserable conditions at St Mary's, where Brendan Rodgers' side moved within two points of the top four as the season enters the home straight.

Southampton's Graziano Pelle (left) and Filip Djuricic (centre right) wait to restart after Raheem Sterling's goal during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton. Credit: PA Wires
Liverpool's Martin Skrtel battles for the ball with Southampton's Graziano Pelle (left) during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton. Credit: PA Wires
Liverpool's Martin Skrtel battles for the ball with Southampton's Graziano Pelle (left) during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton. Credit: PA Wires

Saints' best start for 26 years

It's their best start in football's top flight for 26 years - and Southampton Football Club are hoping that form continues. Manager Ronald Koeman though, says fans mustn't get carried away with the club's current top four position.

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Will Nicola Cortese, Southampton chairman, renew his contract with the club?

Southampton chairman, Nicola Cortese, enjoying the game at St Mary's Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

It's reported that the Saints chairman, Nicola Cortese, wants to see renewed backing from the trust that owns Southampton Football Club before he commits to a new contract with the club.

The Hampshire-based Premiership team is owned by the Leibherr trust. Mr Cortese has told them he want to take the club to the next level and it's claimed he believes additional investment is essential to do this. The Saints chairman played a key role in the purchase of the club in 2009.

Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr had been behind the move, but died suddenly the following year.

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