QPR focus on Paterson deal as Lawrence hopes fade

QPR: Loftus Road

QPR are focusing on a potential deal to sign Swansea’s Jamie Paterson after being unable to make progress with an attempt to capture Derby playmaker Tom Lawrence.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has long been keen to bring in an attacking midfielder.

His top target for this month’s transfer window was Lawrence, who is also wanted by Bournemouth.

With Derby beset by financial problems, an approach was made to the administrators running the East Midlands club to see if a deal for Lawrence could be thrashed out.

But with talks not progressing and Monday’s transfer deadline approaching, Rangers, currently fourth in the Championship, are now looking at other potential acquisitions.

There appears to be significantly more chance of landing Paterson, who wants to leave Swansea, although he too is the subject of interest from other clubs.

Those clubs include two more of QPR’s promotion rivals: Blackburn and West Brom.

Further afield 

A number of younger alternatives are also on the radar but the club ideally want a more seasoned player – a view formed partly on the basis of Jack Clarke’s unsuccessful loan spell a couple of years ago.

Clarke is regarded as a major talent but he failed to make an impact after arriving from Tottenham, and Rangers are keen to avoid a repeat of that scenario now they are in the thick of the promotion race and the stakes are so high.

The same applies with a couple of possible options outside England that have been discussed.

Rangers’ position in the table means there is a desire to bring in someone who can hit the ground running rather than need time to find their feet.

Warburton admitted Tuesday’s goalless draw at home to Swansea highlighted why he is keen to bring in an attacking player.

Rangers had won their previous four matches and another victory would have taken them up to third, just a point behind second-placed Blackburn.

They missed the creativity of Ilias Chair, who is at the Africa Cup of Nations with Morocco.

Warburton said: “I just felt we lacked a bit of quality in the final third. We know we were not at our best.

“You’re obviously going to miss a player who plays nine times out of 10. Ilias is normally in the team and with his goals and assists he’s a very talented boy.

“He’s been away but if you look at our run for the last eight or nine games, we’re not doing bad.

“I’m not ignoring it – we know we need attacking options. When you make a substitution you want to change it to change the dynamic and tempo of a game.

“We are targeting players. We know what we want and who we want to bring in.

“Who we want and getting it done are two entirely different things. I hope very much in the next two or three days that we see some movement.”

QPR exits likely

A signing would pave the way for George Thomas to leave. 

There has been some interest in the Wales international, who has been unable to establish himself as a first-team player since being signed 18 months ago.

Dom Ball could also go before Monday’s deadline.

Ball’s contract expires at the end of the season and, with Luke Amos and Sam Field back from injury, Rangers are likely to let him move on if the chance arises.

And the club are looking to arrange another loan move for Conor Masterson, who spent the first half of the season at Cambridge United.

Sheffield Wednesday expressed an interest in the Irishman but have since signed former Brentford defender Harlee Dean on loan from Birmingham.

Crewe and Fleetwood Town have also indicated that they are keen on Masterson.

Niko Hamalainen is not in Warburton’s plans and can leave.