Gillingham keen to keep QPR defender Masterson

Gillingham director of football Kenny Jackett has confirmed the League Two club want to sign Conor Masterson on a permanent basis, Kent Online reports.

The 24-year-old central defender, whose QPR contract expires this summer, is in his second spell on loan with the Gills.

He has been playing alongside R’s academy product Max Ehmer, who left Loftus Road in 2015.

“We have all been very impressed. He did well last year when the club made a real good fist of staying in League One. It has been a good partnership with Max,” said former QPR assistant manager Jackett.

“He is out of contract at QPR in the summer and is a player we are strongly interested in, definitely.”

There were high hopes for Masterson when he was signed on a free transfer in 2019 after being released by Liverpool.

However, he has so far been unable to establish himself as a first-team regular for the club and had spells on loan at Cambridge United and Swindon prior to joining Gillingham.

He was allowed to leave on loan again this season because he was behind Jake Clarke-Salter and Leon Balogun in the pecking order.

Balogun has been unavailable since Masterson’s move and Clarke-Salter has featured just twice, leaving Rangers short of cover for Rob Dickie and Jimmy Dunne.