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Queens Park Rangers Keeping Tabs On £600K-Rated Ace

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With safety in the Championship confirmed and the season now done and dusted, Queens Park Rangers are looking ahead to the summer transfer window at potential signings to strengthen the squad.

When Gareth Ainsworth was relieved from his duties back in October, the West London outfit sat 23rd in England’s second tier and six points below safety following a 2-1 defeat at home to league-winners Leicester City.

 

The board made quite a risky decision to hand the job to an unknown manager in English football in Marti Cifuentes, who had only ever coached in the lower leagues of Spain and the top-flight of the Swedish pyramid, most notably with Hammarby.

Nevertheless, the Spaniard completed the insurmountable job of taking Queens Park Rangers out of the relegation zone, six points above the bottom three and level on points with Sunderland, who were in contention for a play-off finish at the midway point of the campaign.

Had Kieran McKenna not guided Ipswich Town to a near-impossible promotion to the Premier League as a newly-promoted side, Cifuentes certainly would have been in for a shout of winning the Manager of the Season award, alongside Sheffield Wednesday‘s Danny Rohl, who completed a similar feat at Hillsborough.

Now, Cifuentes will be keen to strengthen his squad for next season to avoid another dread relegation battle. According to a report from Gazet van Antwerpen, QPR are interested in signing Thibaud Verlinden, the former Stoke City winger, who is currently plying his trade in Belgium with Beerschot.

 

The 24-year-old came from Stoke’s academy but only made a handful of appearances for the first-team, even heading out on loan to Bolton Wanderers during the 2019/20 campaign. While the Belgian never found his feet in English football, he has returned home and has bagged five goals and recorded 10 assists in 30 appearances for Beerschot.

The outlet are also claiming that 2. Bundesliga club Schalke are keen to sign Verlinden in the summer, providing competition to QPR for the attacker.

Writer’s View

With Chris Willock set to leave the club this summer, upon the expiry of his contract, signing Verlinden, who does have some experience in the Championship, could be a good option to replace the 26-year-old.

However, the Belgian still has 12 months remaining on his current deal with Beerschot. His market value stands at £600,000, as per Transfermarkt, so Queens Park Rangers may have to fork out a fee in and around that to have a chance of beating Schalke to his signature.

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