QPR faces late competition for Cook’s signing


QPR faces late competition from Nottingham Forest for the signing of Steve Cook.

A tentative deal has been reached for the 30-year-old to leave Bournemouth and Rangers are looking to complete the transfer.

But Forest has also made a move for Cook and tries to persuade him to move to the City Ground.

Cook made 388 appearances for the Cherries, featuring them in the lower divisions and the Premier League.

But he’s been out of favor this season under boss Scott Parker and his contract expires this summer.

He was not included in the day’s shift for Bournemouth’s recent victory over the R because a movement is in sight.

Mark Warburton told West London Sport earlier this month that he wanted to bring in an experienced central defender.

Jordy de Wijs has suffered injuries since joining the club and could be out until February with a calf problem.

Manager Warburton is therefore keen to add a center-back to his squad and doesn’t think Conor Masterson would be the answer at this point in the young defender’s career given that Rangers are at the heart of the championship promotion race.

De Wijs, who signed a permanent contract over the summer, has not played since leaving for the 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest Oct. 29 – and only managed 20 league starts in his 11 months with Rangers.

Warburton currently has other options in the center of defense, but a further injury or two besides De Wijs’ propensity to miss games could create a problem in a key area at a crucial stage of the campaign.

Masterson, 23, is on loan at Cambridge United until January and Warburton believes he should end the season away from W12.

Warburton has great self-esteem but has long wanted Masterson, who had no first-team experience before being signed in July last year after being released from Liverpool, to spend a long period of time on loan .

A loan spell at Swindon last season, which was considered vital to Masterson’s football education, was interrupted by a bad hamstring injury.

He impressed when he appeared for QPR but has only 33 league starts to his name.

With the stakes so high for Rangers, who have a realistic chance of reaching the Premier League, Warburton wants a more seasoned defender to strengthen the squad.

“Young players have to be on loan to develop,” Warburton said.

“Conor has been on a very good loan so far. He’s playing in League One week after week and gaining a lot of experience. It’s a great development for a young defender.

“Now if QPR is in a good position and wants to push, do we want a young defender and pull him off a good loan, or do we want to look at him and say that we may have to enter the market in January and bring in someone experienced to add another level of quality?

Warburton wanted Masterson on loan

“Are we just going to fill in the gaps or are we looking to continue?”

“I think of Conor a lot, so it’s nothing derogatory in any form.

“But a young defender got a perfect loan and is doing really well. I am delighted to see it. He loves his football and is gaining experience.

“Are we changing that? Are we wasting this loan? If it is an emergency, we will do what we need to do for QPR. But for now, is QPR going to try, push, or are we happy to just try to fill in the gaps and get jerseys on the pitch? “

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