Queens Park Rangers Beaten To £1.3 Million-Rated Target

Queens Park Rangers have lost out to French side Lille on a key target available on a free transfer.

Marti Cifuentes’ side have been active in the market this summer following a tough season in the Championship, finishing 18th. Despite that being an improvement on 2022/23’s effort of a 20th-place finish, the Loftus Road side were still in the relegation battle until the final weeks of the campaign.

Reports have linked various midfielders to West London, with Marc Leonard, Isaac Hayden and Nordine Kandil from Strasbourg, however, none of these have come to fruition. French outlet Le Parisien linked Rangers in May to Ethan Mbappé as he was set to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

The brother of France captain Kylian Mbappé, the 17-year-old was not involved in the move to send his sibling to Spanish giants Real Madrid and has been linked to multiple clubs after leaving the Parc De Princes. Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Lille is his chosen destination, with the medical for the player already underway.

Les Lillois beat QPR along with European heavyweights Borussia Dortmund and Ajax to his signature, in which Romano stated that it was a ‘long-term deal’ to join the Northern French outfit on a free transfer. Transfermarkt currently values the teenager at €1.5 million (£1.3 million).

Mbappé has spent all of his time in the youth setup at PSG and emerged last season to make four appearances in the senior squad across the League and Cup.

Lille had a strong Ligue 1 campaign with a fourth-placed finish, securing a berth to the Champions League qualifying rounds. Bruno Genesio’s team have focused on youth in their midfield in recent weeks after securing 16-year-old academy graduate Ayyoub Bouaddi to his first professional contract and are set to add Mbappé to that list.

Writer’s View

Queens Park Rangers have not yet been able to secure a new addition to their midfield and Ethan Mbappé, however unlikely it might have been to sign him, is yet another target missed. The strength of competition was immense and it seems that the player has opted to remain in his home country to further his development. Lille have been a strong competitior in recent years in France, winning the league title four seasons ago.

Rangers must now move back to the drawing board when it comes to finding new players to sign in the centre of the park. Fellow target Marc Leonard is currently set to move to League One’s Birmingham City according to the Daily Mirror. Joe Morrell has recently become available on a free transfer from Portsmouth so perhaps he will be the next target for Cifuentes’ side.

About Lewis Gray 156 Articles
1st Class Honours in Multimedia Journalism at Salford University. Writing mainly about League Two.

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