Mark Warburton has dismissed reports he is about to sign a new contract at QPR.
He was tipped to agree an improved deal 24 hours after a report suggested he was on the verge of quitting as manager to take over as assistant technical director at the Football Association.
The story was quickly denied by Rangers, who plan to holds talks with Warburton at the end of the season about the future and a possible new contact for him.
Warburton said: “The same media outlet announced that I was leaving and then said I was getting a new contract, which was quite bizarre – all within 24 hours.
- See also: QPR plan to discuss Warburton contract
“It (the claim Warburton was close to leaving) was completely dismissed by the club and quite rightly.
“There was nothing to it whatsoever. Where these stories emerge from I have no idea.
“And anything regarding my contract would be private unless it’s all signed and sealed were that to be the case.”
Asked if he would be open to signing a new deal, Warburton said: “My job is here to take the club forward – to play my part in doing that.
“Hopefully we can keep building the squad and gain the momentum.
“We’re in a very good position now. What we have to do is make sure we maintain progress.
“There’s no point having a really good end (to the season) and start poorly.
“We want to keep building and hopefully we can do that.”
QPR on course for top 10
Warburton was installed as manager on a two-year deal in 2019 and is on course to deliver a top-10 finish in his second season at the helm.
It is a rolling contract, so there is not necessarily a requirement to tie him to a new one in order to keep him at the club.
But it seems likely he would be regarded as a contender if other Championship managerial positions become available, given the job he has done at QPR and before that at Brentford.
It means he would be in a strong position were he to indicate that he wants a longer-term deal.
The season can be regarded as a success, with an improvement on last year’s showing despite the fact that the loss of Ebere Eze and Jordan Hugill, and previously Nahki Wells, meant Rangers lost the sources of most of their goals scored last term.
Warburton’s brief was to replicate Brentford’s success in developing players into sellable assets.
He can also point to the progress of the likes of Eze, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ilias Chair, Rob Dickie and Chris Willock during his time at the helm.
Signings such as those of Yoann Barbet and Lee Wallace have been vindicated as well.
Wallace earns new QPR deal
Wallace is set to sign a new one-year deal.
An option to extend Wallace’s contract by 12 months will be triggered after the Scot’s impressive run in the side.
Wallace, who turns 34 in August, was signed on a two-year deal in 2019 from Glasgow Rangers, where he previously played under Warburton.
He has struggled for fitness and form for much of his time at the club but has been a revelation during the second half of the season.
Warburton regards Wallace as a key player on and off the pitch and is keen for him to stay.
There is also a desire to keep Sam Field when his loan spell ends – but there is an element of doubt over whether the midfielder will join from West Brom on a permanent basis. The move is not quite a foregone conclusion.
Field was signed in the final hours of the January transfer window with an option to buy.
However, that option would have been QPR’s rather than West Brom’s if Field made 12 starts during his loan spell.
His omission from the team at Swansea on Tuesday therefore means the situation is somewhat out of Rangers’ hands as he has made eight starts and there are only three matches of the season remaining.
That technically means West Brom can now block a permanent deal for Field, although currently all parties expect the move to go ahead.
West Brom also hold an option to extend Charlie Austin’s contract by a year when his current deal expires this summer.