Clarke-Salter to miss QPR’s opening game

Jake Clarke-Salter will miss QPR’s opening game of the Championship season.

The defender, who was unavailable for much of last term, went off 17 minutes after coming on during Rangers’ opening pre-season friendly, against Slavia Prague, and has not featured since.

He has been nursing a calf problem and Rangers have been hoping that he would nevertheless be available for Saturday’s match at Watford.

However, Clarke-Salter will miss the game along with Jimmy Dunne, who was stretchered off with a shoulder injury during a friendly against Oxford United at the weekend.

Rangers will also be without midfielder Jack Colback, who will need time to build up his fitness after joining the club this week.

Another new signing, Morgan Fox, has also been building up his fitness and was being lined up for a place on the bench at Vicarage Road.

But the absence of defenders Dunne and Clarke-Salter means Fox is in line to make his debut.

Rangers are hoping to bring in another centre-back in the next 48 hours.

They want to sign Chris Forino from boss Gareth Ainsworth’s former side Wycombe but the two clubs have so far been unable to agree a fee.

Jack Whatmough was targeted after leaving Wigan this week, but on Tuesday evening it seemed that he had chosen a move elsewhere.

QPR will sign Steve Cook if a deal can be done with Nottingham Forest, where he is out of the first-team picture. Wages are a potential stumbling block.

Cook, 32, backed out of a move to Loftus Road to join Forest last year.

There is strong interest in Peterborough’s Josh Knight, 25, and a deal to sign him before the transfer window closes currently looks doable.

Knight played under Ainsworth during a loan spell at Wycombe in the 2020-21 season.

But Ainsworth’s immediate priority – particularly with Dunne and Clarke-Salter sidelined – is to bring in an experienced Championship defender.