Former England international striker Wayne Rooney has personally contacted West Bromwich Albion hitman Charlie Austin in an attempt to lure him to Derby County according to Football Insider.
In recent weeks, Derby have been linked with Austin who has fallen down the pecking order at West Brom and with Rooney now taking a more “hands-on” approach with transfers he has gone the extra mile in order to persuade Austin to move to Pride Park.
The 31-year-old scored 11 goals for the Baggies last season as they clinched promotion to the Premier League but he hasn’t featured for them so far in the Premier League.
Although Austin hasn’t made an impact this season he has been a regular goalscorer at Championship level throughout his career and Derby see him as the ideal replacement for Chris Martin who left the club at the end of last season.
The domestic window for EFL clubs closes on Friday and the Rams are eager to bring in attacking reinforcements and Rooney is well aware of Austin’s record in the second tier and is keen to help entice him to the club.
West Brom boss Slaven Bilic is willing to allow Austin to leave despite Hal Robson-Kanu having suffered a broken arm in their defeat to Southampton.
The Midlands club are looking to bring in Huddersfield Town striker Karlan Grant and letting Austin leave would not only recoup further transfer funds but also remove one of their highest wage earners off their books.
It appears unlikely at this stage that Austin will get regular first-team football at West Brom and with Rooney’s reputation in the game he could be the key behind Austin making the move to Derby.