Caulker ‘in a fantastic place’ – Holloway

QPR: Steven Caulker

Ian Holloway says troubled QPR defender Steven Caulker is “in a fantastic place” after returning to training.

Caulker has recently spoken of his mental health issues and addictions to alcohol and gambling.

The 25-year-old was signed from Cardiff City for £8m in the summer of 2014 and has made only 48 league appearances for the R’s. He has not played since last October.

He could join Celtic before the transfer window closes – talks have taken place with the Glasgow club, who appear to be interested in a potential deal.

However, Holloway has suggested that Caulker, who has one England cap, will be part of his squad.

The Rangers boss said: “I’m delighted to have him back. That is a potential England centre-half.

“He has only just been training with me. It was pretty well documented; his article in the newspaper was really open – as open as I’ve ever seen any footballer.

“Part of me was really sad about that, part of me was pleased and proud of him to actually admit that.

“Now he is in a fantastic place and he wants to come back and he wants to work and I can’t believe that I’m the lucky person who will get to work with him. The lads feel the same way.

“For me, now, it’s about helping him, to keep playing, keep working and keep improving.”

Caulker, who played under Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers at Swansea City, is now in the final year of a four-year contract at Loftus Road.

He has been warned by the club after a series of misdemeanours.

QPR lost patience with him when he was arrested and charged with failing to provide a breath sample following an incident in Windsor in March.

It was the fourth time Caulker had been in trouble with the police and came less than a month after he was fined for throwing objects at passers-by at Clapham Junction station.

He pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly after that offence, was fined £650 and ordered to pay £85 costs.

Removing his lucrative contract from their wage bill would help QPR’s efforts to add to their squad within the club’s budgetary restrictions.

Rangers are keen to sign a striker and remain interested in Barnsley’s Andy Yiadom despite reports of Premier League interest in the right-back.