Les Ferdinand convinced Alex Smithies will sign new QPR contract
PUBLISHED: 22:57 25 January 2017 | UPDATED: 23:14 25 January 2017
QPR's director of football Les Ferdinand says Alex Smithies will sign a new contract at Loftus Road - but admits he could leave for a Premier League club in the not too distant future.
As the Times exclusively revealed last month QPR were keen to open talks with the experienced shot stopper over a new long-term deal before the end of the transfer window, in mind of potential Premier League interest in the former Huddersfield Town man.
Smithies has been by far and away the Rs’ stand-out performer this season, which has alerted a number of clubs to the 26-year-old, most notably Championship rivals Aston Villa.
However, as Smithies told the Times last week, he wants to sign a new deal in W12 and Rs chief Ferdinand says that agreement is close to being finalised.
Ferdinand said: “We’re nearly there with Smithies. That will get done. He’s the best goalkeeper in the league for me.
“I’m hearing a few things from a distance that there are a couple of Premier League teams after him, but he’s not one we want to let go.
“We sold the club to him at the start [when he joined] and with the plans Ollie has put into place he still wants to be a big part of that.
“He still has ambitions with this club. I know he wants to play in the Premier League, but he wouldn’t leave us for a Championship rival.
“But at the same time we’d be honest with him and if a Premier League side came knocking for him further down the line and it was the right move for him, then we’d sit down and decide what he wants to do.”
Elsewhere, Darnell Furlong is set to sign a two-and-a-half year contract extension at Loftus Road, with an official announcement regarding that potentially coming before the end of the week.
Furlong, 21, has been told by Holloway he has a massive part to play in his first-team plans, and the former has made it clear he wants to sign a new deal and has no interest in moving elsewhere.