QPR boss targets defender as Balogun moves on

Leon Balogun has returned to Scotland and re-signed for Rangers.

The 35-year-old defender was out of contract, having been signed for QPR by Michael Beale on a 12-month deal last year.

He joined the R’s on their pre-season trip to Austria but has left their training camp to be reunited with Rangers’ ex-QPR boss Beale in Glasgow.

Balogun had a two-year spell at Ibrox prior to his move to west London.

His departure and another injury picked up by Jake Clarke-Salter has prompted Rangers to add academy defenders Deon Woodman and Harry Hawkins to their squad in Austria.

Clarke-Salter, who was also signed by Beale last year, was unavailable for much of last season and went off just 17 minutes after coming on as a substitute in QPR’s opening pre-season friendly, against Slavia Prague on Saturday.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side will play Austrian team Vorwarts Steyr this weekend.

Following Rob Dickie’s move to Bristol City and Balogun’s departure, and with Clarke-Salter’s fragility having been highlighted again, Ainsworth has an urgent need to strengthen his options at centre-back.

He would like to bring in an experienced defender and also sign Chris Forino from his former club Wycombe, but they are reluctant to sell the 23-year-old – and QPR are currently financially restricted despite the sales of Dickie and keeper Seny Dieng.

A deal to sign Lewis Wing, who also played under Ainsworth at Wycombe, is more straightforward as the midfielder is out of contract.

Meanwhile, QPR will today look to seal the signing of former Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic.