QPR boss Warnock resigned to losing influential midfielder
QPR boss Neil Warnock admits he is powerless to prevent Adel Taarabt leaving Loftus Road as co-owner Flavio Briatore attempts to mastermind the skipper’s transfer.
Warnock has all but given up on keeping hold of his want-away midfielder, whose goals last season earned him the Championship and Football League Player of the Season awards and helped the Rs achieve promotion to the Premier League, but who now has his heart set on a move back to France.
Paris St Germain have already lodged a �13.5million bid for the 22-year-old, while Atletico Madrid are also known to be interested, and Warnock now appears resigned to losing arguably his key player barely a month before the new season kicks off.
More worrying for Rangers fans, who are already alarmed at the lack of new signings so far this summer, is Warnock’s admission that he is not even aware of the asking price for his star player – relying instead on snippets of information from Briatore.
“I’m more inclined into thinking he will be going rather than staying,” said Warnock. “He has that many advisors and they’re all pushing him to leave.
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“But Flavio Briatore is dealing with negotiations. He is keeping me informed of the situation and at this precise moment he won’t be leaving because no-one has met the asking price.
“I am not sure what that is but we do have to take into account that Tottenham will take around 30-40 per cent of it because of what was agreed when we signed him from Spurs last year.”
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Warnock added that he wants Taarabt to stay until Christmas, but admitted that that is unlikely, and the manager now faces a tough task to bolster a squad which, as yet, has had no new additions since May’s Championship title success.
Controversial former chairman Briatore has already drawn stinging criticism from Peterborough chairman Barry Fry, who says the club’s owners are the cause of Rangers’ failure to sign new players.
The Rs lost out on Peterborough striker Craig Mackail-Smith to Brighton, but Fry claimed he was practically a QPR player, only to have the move blocked by Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone.
He said: “I did a deal [for Mackail-Smith] with Neil six weeks ago but Briatore and Ecclestone wouldn’t back Neil – he can’t even get a free transfer in. They’re a disgrace.
“If his owners don’t back him Neil can’t do anything. He should have all the backing in the world and he’s had none at all.”