QPR extend Hamalainen’s contract ahead of loan move

QPR have extended Niko Hamalainen’s contract by a year ahead of his loan move to the MLS.

Hamaleinen, whose Rangers deal was due to expire this summer, is now under contract until 2020.

He will be returning to his native United States along with fellow American Giles Phillips, who is set to join New England Revolution.

The defenders, both 21, are moving on loan to the MLS, where the transfer window opens later this month, in order to gain first-team experience.

Revolution, managed by former Liverpool and Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel, recently expressed an interest in both players and have reached an agreement with QPR for centre-back Phillips.

A number of other clubs have been made aware of Hamalainen’s availability and his options are being assessed.

Los Angeles FC, which is part-owned by QPR co-owner Ruben Gnanalingam, will be one of the options if their coach, former Swansea manager Bob Bradley, wants to sign him.

Hamaleinen and Phillips were among the fringe players Rangers had lined up for loan moves well before January transfer window, as was Osman Kakay.

The likes of Paul Smyth, Sean Goss and Ilias Chair were also earmarked for loan moves and went to Accrington Stanley, St Johnstone and Stevenage respectively.

However, Rangers were unable to arrange a deal for right-back Kakay despite attempting to do so until the very final stages of the window.

It was hoped as the deadline approached that Kakay would join Port Vale or Newport County, but no move materialised.

His options will now be considered, particularly in light of Angel Rangel’s expected return from injury, which is likely to push Kakay back down the pecking order.

Florida-born Finland international Hamalainen, who turns 22 next month, has been with QPR since 2014 and has made six first-team appearances for the club.

Phillips was signed in 2017 and is yet to make his senior debut. His contract was recently also extended by a year.