QPR boss standing firm on Osayi-Samuel and Manning

QPR: Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ryan Manning

QPR manager Mark Warburton has reiterated his position that he will only select players he feels are committed to the club.

It comes on the eve of the new Championship season – and with Bright Osayi-Samuel still refusing to accept a new deal.

The current contracts of Osayi-Samuel and Ryan Manning expire next summer.

Manning is in the process of changing agents and his new representatives are yet to hold formal discussions with QPR.

The Osayi-Samuel camp, meanwhile, have been trying to drum up interest among top-flight clubs – and several have duly been linked with the winger.

However, only Club Brugge have made a firm offer for Osayi-Samuel, who decided against the move to Belgium.

Protecting QPR

There has recently been some interest from Celtic, whose chief scout Gary Penrice played a key role in QPR’s signing of Osayi-Samuel from Blackpool in 2017.

Penrice took the Celtic role after leaving his scouting position with the R’s last November.

The Scottish club are aware that Osayi-Samuel could be signed in January on a pre-contract agreement and move on a free transfer at the end of the season.

That is an outcome Warburton is keen to avoid.

“It’s about looking at what protects QPR,” Warburton explained.

“The season is starting later than normal and the January transfer window is not that far away.

QPR manager Mark Warburton
Warburton’s side face Nottingham Forest this weekend

“People can sign pre-contracts in January and you can have a situation where agents delay conversations, haggle – ‘I’ll come back to you next week’ – and suddenly players are signing pre-contracts.

“And when a player signs a pre-contract and commits to another club, quite understandably their focus and attention drifts away from their current club. I understand that.

“Although these guys are highly-paid athletes and professionals they’re still young guys, many experiencing situations like this which they haven’t experienced before.

“So you have to give a lot of understanding and I do sympathise.

“But for me, I want players who want to be here and want to commit to QPR.

“I understand if they want their future away from QPR. But QPR has to be treated appropriately and has to act in a consistent manner which is in the best interests of the football club.

“You can’t have players just easing to a pre-contract and look to leave for free come May of 2021. That’s not going to happen here.”

‘Two great examples’

QPR have been trying for several months to persuade Osayi-Samuel and Manning to accept new contracts.

Recently the club have been able to point to the fact that Ebere Eze signed a three-year contract in 2018 and it was no barrier to him recently joining Premier League Crystal Palace.

And striker Ollie Watkins this week left Warburton’s former club Brentford to join Aston Villa despite signing a new four-year deal last summer.

Warburton said: “There you saw two great examples in Ebere and Ollie who have signed their contracts, got their moves and everyone wins from that.

QPR: Bright Osayi-Samuel
Osayi-Samuel was outstanding for much of last season

“So that would be my message. But it’s about how people perceive things.

“There’s a contract. If a guy commits to the club, all well and good, and if they want to move on then it’s never personal – it’s only professional and you wish them well.

“But you only want people who are committed to a club which means so much to so many people.

“And if their mind isn’t on it, even the slightest one or two percent at this level, you’ll get hurt.

“So I only want to pick players who are absolutely committed to the club.”