QPR preparing to pounce for defensive duo Ferdinand and Caulker
QPR, 2/1 to be relegated this season, are keen to bolster their defence this summer with the additions of Steven Caulker and Rio Ferdinand. A bid has been accepted for the former, with the Loftus Road side expected to face stiff competition for the Spurs youth product.
Current Cardiff City captain Caulker has been linked with a myriad of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, Southampton and Crystal Palace, but it is believed that QPR are in pole position to secure his signature.
The 22-year-old centre back has a release clause, reported to be around £8m, that was triggered by the Welsh club’s relegation. Former Spurs and current QPR coach Harry Redknapp sent the talented defender on loan during their time at White Hart Lane, and it could be his familiarity with the youngster that helps him to pip potential rivals to the post.
In what could be a shrewd move, Redknapp also looks set to add free agent Rio Ferdinand to a squad hoping to avoid relegation. A swoop for the 35-year-old Manchester United legend would provide his side with ample experience, as QPR appear to have placed defensive stability as their top priority, with moves for Serge Aurier and Jamaal Lascelles already rejected.
Premier League veteran Ferdinand, who served the Red Devils over an incredibly successful 12-year period, and Caulker, could make an intriguing master and apprentice style centre back pairing for the newly promoted team.
They would join a defensive set-up already boasting the top-flight experience of former Arsenal man Armand Traore, who recently signed a two-year contract extension, as well as former Manchester City stars Richard Dunne and Nedum Onuoha. Meanwhile, full back Luke Young has left the club alongside versatile Aaron Hughes.
QPR finished in 4th place in the Championship last season, defeating Derby in the play-offs to secure their return to the Premier League. Having conceded 44 goals in 46 league matches, almost a goal a game, Redknapp will be acutely aware that his team must be water-tight at the back if they are to avoid the drop.
Odds-on at 2/5 to stay up, the west London club will have taken great strides in strengthening their chances of survival if these two anticipated signings go ahead. Always busy in the transfer market, wheeler-dealer Redknapp is expected to make a big summer splash, but is set to miss out on winger Tom Ince and Derby midfielder Craig Bryson.