Sainsbury’s been a long-time target, says QPR boss Ferdinand

Queens Park Rangers target Trent Sainsbury has been on their radar for many months, according the Championship club’s director of football Les Ferdinand.

Trent Sainsbury

Source: AAP

The Hoops powerbroker also received a glowing endorsement of Sainsbury from another Australian and R’s fans favourite Massimo Luongo, as the bid to sign the defender either permanently or on loan heats up.

Ferdinand and new coach Steve McClaren view the 26-year-old stopper as a critical piece of their defensive jigsaw, and are hoping to have a deal done in time for next week’s opening game of the new season away to Preston North End. And ahead of the August 9 transfer deadline.

But with Sainsbury’s Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning playing hardball over the financial terms of his release - and QPR hamstrung by Financial Fair Play issues - the proposed move to London is at a critical point.

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“We’re certainly very interested and he’s somebody that we like and would suit the way Steve McClaren wants to play,” Ferdinand told The World Game.

“He’s still on contract in China of course (Sainsbury has five months left but has been told to train with the reserves).

“We are waiting on information on that ... and if a deal is able to be done, we will do it.



“I understand that his agent (Tony Rallis) is working on that (the terms of a contract release) at this moment. We are looking at all the logistics around this.

“Trent is somebody we’ve been interested in for a while now and we were able to have a closer look at him during the World Cup.

“Our remit is to look at players in the final year of their contracts, and we’ve been concentrating on defenders.

“He’s one who was flagged to us ... We did our homework and we feel he’d fit the playing system the manager is putting in place here.

“Steve McClaren wants to play out from the back and Trent suits that way of playing.”

Ferdinand also sought the counsel of Luongo, who loudly sung Sainsbury’s praises.

“I spoke to Mass, who obviously knows him well and he has been pretty impressed with him and gave us a good report there,” added Ferdinand.

“We think he’d be a good addition to our squad.”

The Hoops have lost experienced defenders Nedum Onuoha, James Perch and Jack Robinson since the end of last season, and with Darnell Furlong also out with a long-term knee injury have so far made just one signing in the current transfer window.

Due to their obligations to comply with ongoing FFP edicts they are looking mainly at free transfers, loan signings and bargain acquisitions - and hoping that Sainsbury comes under that umbrella.

Whether Jiangsu - who want in excess of $1 million for Sainsbury - are willing to budge will be determined in the coming days.

Sainsbury has made 34 league appearances since joining them from PEC Zwolle in 2016, and has had previous loan spells with Inter Milan and Grasshopper of Zurich.


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3 min read
Published 27 July 2018 at 12:38pm
By Dave Lewis