Adel Taarabt first suggested that a move may be on the cards this summer when it was proposed that Queens Park Rangers may replace Neil Warnock. Having secured promotion to the Premier League, Warnock remained in situ but the theme has continued.
Taarabt soon voiced a penchant for a big four club by claiming: “I
The star attraction in the Championship last season, starring in a fantasista role off the main striker, Taarabt contributed 19 goals and 14 assists as Q.P.R stormed to the title. Despite occasional sulks he remained injury free and remarkably consistent, seemingly at the right club with the right manager at the right time, Warnock indulged him, making him captain and literally building the side around him.
Taarbat has since revealed how Warnock enticed him to sign for Q.P.R permanently a year ago, explaining: “Last summer, Neil rang me and said: ‘I want to make you the star. Come and you will have freedom to play’. Neil said, ‘Even if you lose the ball, I will have some players behind you to do the job for you defensively’.” He is unlikely to find another club as accommodating, willing to sacrifice work ethic in favour of inspiration, and it would leave Q.P.R’s Premier League preparations in tatters.
Despite their wealthy backers, transfer activity has been conspicuous by its absence at Loftus Road thus far. Heidar Helguson, Radek Cerny, Peter Ramage and Max Ehmer have agreed new deals, but there have been no new arrivals as yet. Wayne Routledge starred on loan last season and his signing was expected, but the move has yet to materialise and interest has since intensified from other clubs. Craig Mackail-Smith and Danny Graham were targeted but moved elsewhere, while Londoners Lee Bowyer, Jimmy Bullard, Joe Cole and Jay Bothroyd have also been linked. A £1.25m bid has activated DJ Campbell’s release clause but Q.P.R face competition from West Ham United. Italian veterans Nicola Legrottaglie and Fabio Cannavaro are free agents and believed to appeal.
Fans are sure to be alarmed by the lack of reinforcements, with the new season only a month away. Negotiations with Bothroyd are believed to have collapsed due to his £50,000 a week wage demands, a figure that is understood to be double Q.P.R’s wage ceiling, something likely to be a recurring problem as their quest for new signings intensifies. Taarabt’s departure would only compound the problem. Having moved around so much, experiencing so many managers that have been unable to utilise his prodigious talents, Taarabt needs to carefully consider his next move.