Queens Park Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand has provided an update concerning Charlie Austin's future, reiterating that Leicester remain the only club to have submitted a concrete offer for the striker so far this summer, adding that he could yet be offered a new contract to stay at Loftus Road.
The 26 year old, who arrived in West London from fellow Championship outfit Burnley two summers ago, was prolific during his first season in the Premier League, finding the net on no fewer than 18 occasions despite QPR failing to avoid an immediate return to the second tier.
Such a healthy record unsurprisingly attracted the attention of several top-flight clubs earlier in the transfer window, with Leicester seeing an offer of £12m ($18.7m) for his services dismissed amid supposed rival interest from the likes of Newcastle, Crystal Palace and West Ham.
Tottenham, who did not name a striker on the subs bench during their 2015/16 opener against Manchester United at the weekend amid doubts concerning the respective futures of Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, are the latest club to be linked with a potential swoop for a player who earned his first senior England call-up in May.
However, despite there appearing to be no shortage of interest in Austin, Ferdinand confirmed that the club's prize asset will not be allowed to leave for less than the £15m asking price and could sign a new deal if no such bids are forthcoming before the window closes on 1 September.
"We are now into the season and want to settle our side down as quickly as possible. It's not good for the club, it's not good for Charlie — it's not good for anyone," he told the London Evening Standard. "The fans are waiting for the window to close and are hoping Charlie is still here. These things always seem to drag on, but from the club's perspective you want it resolved as quickly as possible.
"All he can do is be professional, which he was against Charlton on Saturday. He's got into this position where clubs are interested in him because he's been professional and scored goals. He can't allow himself to slip now. The price is still £15m and the only firm bid that has come in is still from Leicester. Everyone feels that bids are going to come in for him, it's just a matter of when. But if a club doesn't pay the fee, then we will offer him a new contract to get him to stay."
Although rumours before the match hinted that Austin may not play, the former Swindon and Poole forward completed 85 minutes on 8 August as Chris Ramsey's side slumped to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to London rivals Charlton Athletic courtesy of second-half efforts from Tony Watt and Morgan Fox.
QPR handed debuts to Paul Konchesky, James Perch, Massimo Luongo and Tjaronn Chery at The Valley, while Jamie Mackie made his first appearance for the club since rejoining from Nottingham Forest on a two-year deal in June. Matt Phillips also started despite being mentioned in connection with a move to West Brom over recent weeks.