Transfer gossip: Albion and Boro linked with Freeman

A look at some of the recent transfer speculation involving QPR…

West Bromwich Albion want to sign Luke Freeman, according to the Sunday People.

The QPR midfielder is among several players West Brom have been linked with since their relegation from the Premier League.

Middlesbrough are also said to be interested in Freeman, who has impressed since moving to west London from Bristol City in January 2017.

Is there anything in it?

So far there has been no sign of any concrete interest in Freeman – or any other Rangers player this summer with the exception of Alex Smithies, who joined Cardiff.

Freeman is ambitious and QPR, who are well aware of this, would certainly consider an offer for him if it potentially paved the way for them to reinvest in the squad.

QPR: Luke Freeman
QPR fans can expect the ambitious Freeman to be touted for a move ahead of the transfer deadline

Even after the recent sale of goalkeeper Smithies, Rangers remain close to their Financial Fair Play limit and are therefore still looking primarily at loans and free transfers. Another player sale is probably needed in order for that to change.

The Sunday People say Freeman is rated at £3m. QPR would hope for higher offers than that and, in the event of an approach being made, intend to point to statistics from last season which compare him favourably with Fulham’s Tom Cairney, who was touted as being worth around £20m prior to recently signing a new contract.

Incidentally though, even £3m would represent a substantial profit made on a player signed for £350,000 just 18 months ago.

That cheap acquisition was possible because Freeman had just six months remaining on his contract and made it clear he would not sign a new deal, leaving Bristol City facing a choice between accepting a low offer or losing him for nothing at the end of that season.

QPR will not want his market value to similarly drop during his time with them. Freeman, 26, is under contract until 2020.

Is Hugill heading to Rangers?

Leeds United want to sign Jordan Hugill on loan from West Ham but face a battle with QPR, The Sun recently declared.

It came after reports the R’s are leading a race for the former Preston man and are favourites to sign him.

QPR were interested in Hugill when he was at Preston and believed they were making progress with a bid to sign him for around £1.3m before bids from several other clubs led to his market value massively increasing and he eventually joined West Ham for £9m.

They have made enquiries about taking him on loan from the Hammers, as have several other clubs – including Leeds. The loan fee would be a stumbling block for Rangers as it stands.

There is a feeling within QPR that West Ham might sell Hugill rather than loan him out, which would definitely put him out of Rangers’ reach.

On the flip side, as Hugill has now relocated to the south east, there is a feeling that a loan move to another London club might make sense for all parties.

At the moment, though, completing a deal for Derby’s Chris Martin is QPR boss Steve McClaren’s priority in the quest to bring in a striker.

Did QPR miss out on Eyoma?

Football.London have claimed QPR missed out on the signing of Aaron Eyoma after he joined Derby County from Arsenal.

West London Sport revealed in January that the winger, 20, had joined the R’s on trial.

Rangers, with several wingers already on their books, decided not to pursue Eyoma.

However, he was then among a host of players Get West London subsequently linked with a move to Loftus Road, as were more of the many other trialists Rangers had briefly looked at.

Still searching for a new club, Eyoma later impressed during a trial with Derby.

With the Rams having now brought him in, Football.London claimed QPR were beaten to his signing by Derby.

Is Huntingdon a target?

The Sun reported that QPR are set to launch a bid for Preston defender Paul Huntington.

McClaren was said to be planning to offer £1m for the 30-year-old centre-back.

The Sun reported that Huntington has a year remaining on his contract at Deepdale and declared “McClaren is poised to land him on a cut-price deal.”

Huntington, who previously had spells at Newcastle and Leeds, missed just two league games for Preston last season and The Sun reported that McClaren wants him for his experience.

Signing an experienced centre-back with leadership qualities is a priority for QPR, particularly because of the departure of Nedum Onuoha, and Huntington is among many players they enquired about prior to signing German defender Toni Leistner.

Keen to use the Bosman ruling to their advantage, Rangers have particularly targeted players who have a year or less remaining on their contract and have indicated that they will not sign a new deal – an approach which led to the signings of Josh Scowen, Freeman and now Leistner, for example.

Even though the club has been reducing its budget, QPR are still in a position to offer higher wages than some Championship clubs.

However, Huntington’s Preston contract includes an option to extend it by a further 12 months, meaning he is effectively under contract for two more years.

With that being the case, Preston are seemingly in a position to expect significantly more than £1m for him, so QPR have been looking elsewhere.