Promoted Hoops hope Harry lands Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard
QPR, 13/8 second-favourites with Coral to be relegated from next season’s Premier League, want to bring in veteran pair Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard to strengthen their spine after earning promotion.
Tabloid reports claim that Hoops boss Harry Redknapp is keen to capture the 35-year-olds that he coached as youngsters at West Ham during the late 1990s. Ferdinand is a free agent as he leaves Manchester United following a dozen years at Old Trafford.
Lampard, meanwhile, is out of contract at Chelsea, and has delayed talks over his Stamford Bridge future until he returns from a third World Cup finals in Brazil with England. Redknapp is the scoring midfielder’s uncle.
Family connections also play a part in the interest shown by QPR in Ferdinand. His brother, and fellow defender, Anton played for the Loftus Road outfit between 2011 and 2013.
Moves for Ferdinand and Lampard would further increase the average age of a Hoops squad that sealed an immediate return to the top-flight in dramatic fashion in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Redknapp saw midfielder Gary O’Neil sent off early in the second half of the showpiece against Derby County, only for target man and substitute Bobby Zamora to net a smash and grab 90th minute winner.
There are no fewer than a magnificent seven ex-England internationals currently on the books of QPR. Goalie Robert Green is joined by strikers Andy Johnson and Zamora, winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, midfield pair Joey Barton and Jermaine Jenas, and right back Luke Young.
Ferdinand would add to an ageing Hoops defence, which also contains the Republic of Ireland’s Richard Dunne, Northern Ireland veteran Aaron Hughes and left-footed captain Clint Hill. Lampard, meanwhile, would join other fellow 30-somethings Yossi Benayoun, Karl Henry and O’Neil.
Redknapp also needs to decide whether he will sign some of the loan players that helped him get QPR up on a permanent basis. Faithful midfield retainer Niko Kranjcar and left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto are chief among those, but the former misses out on turning out for Croatia at the World Cup in Brazil through injury.
The Hoops may also bring in Kevin Doyle as experienced backup to Zamora and top scorer Charlie Austin. Redknapp must finally resolve the futures of loaned out names Julio Cesar, Samba Diakite, Esteban Granero, Stephane Mbia, Loic Remy and Adel Taarabt this summer.