QPR are poised to beat Manchester United and Chelsea to the signature of Saint-Etienne starlet Kurt Zouma, according to French newspaper L’Equipe.
United and Chelsea sent scouts to watch Zouma during his side’s 2-1 defeat at Toulouse on Saturday night, where they watched the defender concede a penalty for a foul on Toulouse’s Emmanuel Riviere.
However, both United and Chelsea are set to be trumped by QPR, with the Loftus Road side reportedly willing to fork out a fee somewhere between £9.5m and £11.8m for the 17-year-old, who has been capped by France at under-16, under-17 and under-19 levels.
Saint-Etienne officials believe a fee in that region would be too good to turn down, paving the way for Zouma to move to Loftus Road.
QPR have edged out Stoke City in the race for £10 million-rated Tottenham defender Michael Dawson.
As Goal.com exclusively revealed on Tuesday, the Potters had expressed interest in bringing the defender to the Britannia Stadium, though a “significant” QPR bid was expected.
And Rs boss Mark Hughes has seemingly got his man after being prompted into action following his side’s 5-0 defeat to Swansea on the opening day.
Dawson is believed to have fallen out of favour under new Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas following the summer acquisition of Jan Vertonghen, and the club were open to offers above £8m.
QPR dismal 5-0 hammering at home to Swansea may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for boss Mark Hughes. As the Welsh tactician looked on helplessly, in the stands Hoops’ chairman Tony Fernandes shifted in his seat uncomfortably.
The defeat looks set to force the wealthy Malaysia to open his chequebook and bring in some reinforcements before the end of the month. Hughes has spent astutely so far this summer but clearly there are major defensive deficiencies that need addressing if QPR are to improve on last season’s 17th place finish.
Adding experienced centre-half Dawson would be a great start. The 28-year-old was a favourite under former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp and is an old fashioned centre-back in ever sense of the word. ‘Daws’ is towering in the air, puts his body on the line and is also a great reader of the game.
His lack of pace is an issue and is probably the reason Andre Villas-Boas – who favours a high defensive line – is willing to let him go – but the former Nottingham Forest stopper compensates with his commitment and leadership.
However, it is tough to see how signing 17-year-old Kurt Zouma for nearly £10m is going to help the R’s this season and the youngster is clearly one for the future.
If Rangers really are willing to splash out then much on an unproven wonderkid, then Hughes better hope there is enough money in the bank if his senior squad needs renovation come January.
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