Les Ferdinand does not believe that Queens Park Rangers' sizeable valuation of Charlie Austin is pricing the striker out of a move back to the Premier League, and claims the club have only fielded two firm bids for his services amid reported interest from a host of reputable suitors believed to include Tottenham.
The 26 year old, who surprised many by featuring for Chris Ramsey's side during their opening day Championship defeat away to Charlton, started again at Loftus Road on 15 August and scored QPR's second goal from close range as they were denied victory over Cardiff due to Scott Malone's late equaliser.
Despite Austin continuing to play a key role during the early weeks of the new campaign, however, QPR have remained realistic with regards to the future of a player who notched 18 goals in 35 appearances last term and provided one major positive in an otherwise bleak campaign that saw Harry Redknapp resign in February, citing the need to undergo knee replacement surgery.
Ferdinand, appointed by owner Tony Fernandes as director of football shortly after that aforementioned departure, claimed last week that Leicester City's £12m ($18.7m) offer for the former Burnley and Swindon forward was the only one received during the transfer window so far, despite the likes of Newcastle and West Ham both supposedly eager to sign him.
As well as reaffirming that QPR will simply not budge on their £15m price tag, Ferdinand also revealed that Austin would be offered a new contract to stay in West London if no suitable offers were forthcoming.
Such a stance does not appear to have altered as we edge closer to September's transfer deadline, although the emergence of a second bid could suggest that a difficult situation is beginning to head towards a permanent resolution.
"The latest for us is that Charlie is a Queens Park Rangers player until someone meets the valuation the club have set on his head," Ferdinand told BBC London. "If someone meets that valuation, it's down to Charlie to whether he wants to leave the club and go or not.
"I think everybody knows that there's been lots of rumours in the papers but we've only had two firm bids. I wouldn't say they have been turned down, we've spoken to the clubs but they've not actually met the valuation. For that reason Charlie is still a Queens Park Rangers player."
Ferdinand also rejected the notion that QPR's generous valuation of Austin may be unreasonable, pointing to the £32.5m fee Liverpool recently paid to Aston Villa for Christian Benteke as justification for holding out for such a handsome sum.
"When you look at what Benteke and people like that went for, Jordan Rhodes is in the Championship and they turned down £13m the other day so I don't think we're pricing him out of the market. I just think it's a true valuation of the player that someone's coming to buy."
Tottenham's interest in Austin might just be wavering in the face of such stubborn resistance, meanwhile, with Mauricio Pochettino having recently completed a deal to sign Cameroon international Clinton Njie from Lyon and The Mirror speculating that the club are also expecting to bring West Brom's Saido Berahino to White Hart Lane within the week.
Spurs are currently desperate for fresh impetus in the final third and the pressure on Harry Kane's shoulders is only likely to increase following the sale of Roberto Soldado to Villarreal and with Emmanuel Adebayor also expected to seal a move away shortly.
Kane has not scored for Tottenham in either of their first two matches of the new campaign and prompted concerns over a potential knock at the weekend after being withdrawn on 63 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Stoke.