Chris Ramsey will have one final go to persuade Charlie Austin to stay at QPR - but in his heart of hearts the Rs boss surely knows he’s fighting a lost cause.
The leading scorer (see gallery of goals) in a doomed campaign earned the accolade of being called up for England this week, and the coach is resigned to Austin's agent permanently on the phone to other clubs this summer.
Still, Ramsey will remind the former bricklayer it was at Hoops where his career was really built.
The Rs chief even thinks England boss Roy Hodgson might consider Austin even if he was playing in the Championship, but words like ‘straws’ and ‘clutching’ come to mind.
“I think that it would be difficult to hold on to him,” Ramsey added.
“Goal scorers are the people wanted at the end of any season. I hope he stays, but It would be naive of me to say for sure he’s going to be here.
“He won’t go with my blessing because I want him to stay. But people have careers and ambitions they want to fulfil, and I’m sure Charlie will consider all that, even if Roy’s shown he’s not averse to thinking outside the box.
“Charlie’s loved it here, and he’s had the opportunity to show what he can do at QPR. We have to be realistic about his ambitions, but he’s done fantastic.”
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