Arsenal are reportedly keeping tabs on Burnley goal-machine Charlie Austin, joining a host of Premier League clubs who have expressed an interest in the 23-year-old.
Austin became the first player in Europe to reach the 20-goal mark this season, when he netted against Leeds United in midweek. The Daily Mail reports the English striker has been scouted by several top-flight clubs in Burnley's last five games, with the likes of Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Reading mentioned and claims that the Gunners have now joined the chase.
Austin has scored 17 goals in 14 league appearances so far and has almost singlehandedly kept Burnley in mid-table. With the headed effort which secured a 1-0 win over Leeds, the player took his overall goal tally to 20, breaking a club record set by Clarets legend Andy Lochhead in 1966. Austin need just 17 games to reach the milestone while Lochhead took 25.
Two weeks ago Austin equalled another record, set by Ray Pointer, another Burnley icon, by scoring in eight successive matches.
"To score 20 goals in any season is brilliant. I'm happy I got there but I'm a team player and my goals help the team, and that's what it did for a 1-0 win. If the records keep coming then great, but it's all about winning and getting the three points for the club. I don't have a [goals] target. I just keep working hard in training and bring it out onto the pitch," the Burnley Express quoted Austin as saying.
Burnley signed for Austin from Swindon Town for a fee of around £1.5m two years ago and as the season moves closer to the January transfer window, the Championship club will surely hold out for a far greater offer if they are to let their talisman leave.
Austin failed to make it to any of England's junior national teams and though there are concerns about whether the strikers' technique would suit the English top flight, his achievements have kept him on the big guns' radars.