Charlie Austin has been brought in at Southampton to compete with Shane Long and Sadio Mane, not replace them, boss Ronald Koeman insists.
Saints paid QPR just £4million to sign QPR striker Austin on Saturday, but his arrival at St Mary’s has quickly added fuel to the fire that the club are preparing to sanction the sales of either Mane, who has been linked with Manchester United, or Long, who on Friday was linked to Liverpool.
But Koeman insists Austin’s arrival does not signal the departure of one of his other forward players, with Graziano Pelle also linked with a move away this month.
“We’ve brought in more competition for the strikers,” Koeman insisted. “We’ve brought one player in but still nobody will go out.”
The 26-year-old striker had not played for QPR since mid-December due to a hamstring injury, but he had been back in training with the Hoops prior to completing his £4million switch to St Mary’s on Saturday.
Austin will train with his new team-mates on Monday and his condition will be assessed ahead of Saints’ trip to Manchester United next weekend.
“We’ll see what his physical state is because he is just coming back from a hamstring injury,” Southampton boss Koeman added.
“On Monday and Tuesday we will do tests about his fitness. Then we will know how fit the player is, whether he is close to being part of the team or if he needs more time to be 100 per cent.
“The most important thing is that he has no problems about his fitness and that he is physically ready to be part of the team.”
“It’s good for him that he is in now. He needs time to adapt to how we work and he’ll know everything for next round season.”
Austin watched from the stands as his new team secured a comfortable 3-0 win over West Brom on Saturday.
James Ward-Prowse scored with a free-kick and a penalty before Dusan Tadic wrapped up the victory in the second half.