Southampton have signed QPR striker Charlie Austin for a fee reported to be about £4m. The 26-year-old has joined the Saints on a four-and-a-half-year contract after passing a medical. Austin scored 18 Premier League goals as QPR were relegated last season, and was rewarded with an England call-up. The former Burnley player, whose contract at Loftus Road was due to expire in the summer, has scored 10 goals in 16 appearances this season. He has not featured for Rangers, who are 17th in the Championship, since mid-December because of injury. QPR director of football Les Ferdinand said the decision to sell Austin was “made in the best financial interests of the club” as he could leave on a free transfer at the end of the season. Austin joins a Southampton side 12th in the Premier League.