Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp says striker Charlie Austin will not be sold in the January transfer window as the club prepare to negotiate a new contract with the 25 year old to ward off interest from Liverpool.
Austin inspired QPR to a second-half comeback from two goals down to defeat West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road with a brilliant hat-trick, the first by a Rangers player in the top flight for 21 years.
Speculation is already rife regarding the future of the former Poole Town forward, but Redknapp says the Hoops will not bow to interest from rumoured suitors Liverpool by offloading the forward at the first opportunity in January.
"If we sold Charlie Austin we might as well go home," said Redknapp.
"We need Charlie to keep doing what he's doing and he can't afford to take his foot off the gas. His target would be around 20 goals now with the way he's going at the moment – it's not impossible.
"I'm not saying he will do it but there's nothing to stop him going on and having a fantastic season.
"He's a goalscorer. He wants to score. Goalscorers find a yard of space. It's a knack - he's in the right place at the right time.
"If you score 20 goals in the Championship this year, you'll score in the Premier League. It's not rocket science, it's that knack that people have got - they've been scoring goals since they were kids."
Liverpool are expected to be active in the January transfer window with a striker likely to be the priority for manager Brendan Rodgers after Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini and Mario Balotelli's struggles this season.
Daniel Sturridge is expected to return for Liverpool in the new year after a harrowing injury-laden start to the season but that is unlikely to deter Rodgers from making a move for a new forward in January.
Only behind Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa in the Premier League scoring charts, Austin went above Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez as he took his tally to 11 for the season against the Baggies.
But Austin's future at QPR is unstable with his current contract at the club due to expire in the summer of 2016 and following reports the club want to extend the deal strike-partner Bobby Zamora has urged the club to ramp up negotiations.
"Charlie's got 18 months left on his deal and the club should be offering him something now," he said.
"With the form he's in, it won't be long before some big clubs make an offer and he may want to take that chance. We need to keep hold of him.
"Chaz is a great asset for us. Fingers crossed, he can continue his form. He's a great finisher with a great work ethic.
"He gets all sorts of goals – scrappy ones, long strikes, everything. He's got the lot in and around the box."