QPR looking to bring in keeper and let Kelly leave

QPR are looking to bring in a new goalkeeper and allow Liam Kelly to leave.

Kelly, 25, spent the second half of last season on loan at Motherwell, who are keen to sign him on a permanent deal.

Rangers initially planned for Kelly to return as cover for Seny Dieng following Joe Lumley’s recent departure.

The out-of-contract Lumley rejected a new deal in order to sign for Middlesbrough.

But Kelly has made it clear he does not want to go back to QPR to sit on the bench.

Another loan move for Kelly, who has two years left on his contract, would simply involve Rangers paying his wages in order for him to play elsewhere.

QPR keeper Joe Lumley
Lumley recently agreed a move to Middlesbrough

That is not an attractive option given that youngster Joe Walsh is likely to go out on loan next season and Dillon Barnes might also be loaned out.

It has therefore been decided that Kelly can go for a small transfer fee if another back-up keeper is signed.

A number of options are being considered, including Andy Lonergan, although reports the 37-year-old is on the verge of signing for the club are premature.

Rangers are still discussing whether to bring in a younger keeper as a potential stand-in or opt for experience.

The Ward connection

Lonergan is approaching the end of a short-term contract at West Brom, where he has not played.

The season before last he had spells as back-up keeper at Liverpool and Stoke without making a league appearance. He had one outing for Stoke in the Carabao Cup.

He is well known to QPR goalkeeping coach Gavin Ward, who had a two-year stay at Preston as a player during Lonergan’s 11 years at the Lancashire club.

Ward was largely responsible for Barnes’ surprise move to west London in 2019.

Barnes has not made an appearance for Rangers but was recently given a new one-year contract. Last season he had spells on loan at Hibernian and Burton Albion.

There have so far been no enquiries about Dieng despite speculation about his future resulting from his performances since leapfrogging both Lumley and Kelly to become first-choice keeper.

The current expectation is that Dieng will be at QPR next season – and that has added to Kelly’s reluctance to return.

Motherwell are favourites to sign Kelly but other Scottish clubs have been made aware of his potential availability.

He was signed from Livingston for £50,000 on a four-year deal in 2019 but has managed just 19 Championship appearances.