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Watson the table isn't enough

PUBLISHED: 12:51 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:16 24 August 2010

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 18:  Ben Watson of Crystal Palace in action during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Crystal Palace and Coventry City at Selhurst Park on September 18, 2007 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 18: Ben Watson of Crystal Palace in action during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Crystal Palace and Coventry City at Selhurst Park on September 18, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

2007 Getty Images

By Dave McIntyre QPR will next week table another bid for midfielder Ben Watson, who is expected to reject Crystal Palace s latest offer of a new contract. Rangers failed to land the former England Under-21 international after offering Palace a deal wort

By Dave McIntyre

QPR will next week table another bid for midfielder Ben Watson, who is expected to reject Crystal Palace's latest offer of a new contract.

Rangers failed to land the former England Under-21 international after offering Palace a deal worth £1.2m, potentially rising to £1.5m subject to certain clauses.

The Eagles are keen to keep Watson but he is entering the last year of his contract and has indicated that he will not sign a new deal.

That leaves Palace facing the prospect of selling Watson, 22, this summer rather than allowing him to see out the remainder of his contract.

Rangers hope this will leave them in pole position to get their man and plan to tempt Palace with an improved offer after the weekend.

Former Palace manager Iain Dowie knows Watson well from his time in charge at Selhurst Park and identified him as a potential signing as soon as he took over as QPR boss last month.

Dowie is currently scouting at the Campionato Primavera - an annual Under-20 tournament involving Italy's top clubs.

A number of overseas targets are being considered alongside English-based players as Rangers look to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season.

It looks increasingly likely that Blackpool's Latvian international centre-back Kaspars Gorkss will sign for the R's, although an agreement has yet to be reached.

Gorkss, 26, was targeted after Rangers abandoned a bid to re-sign former Loftus Road favourite Dan Shittu from Watford and an attempt to sign Tottenham's Anthony Gardner seemed to fail.

The injury-plagued Gardner was near the top of QPR's wish list but appears to have agreed a move to another club.

Rangers' ambitious targeting of Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood looks like being just as unproductive but they do have a realistic chance of signing his former West Ham team-mate Bobby Zamora, whose future is likely to be decided in the next couple of weeks.

And there may have been a significant development in the long-standing attempt to bring Lee Cook back to Loftus Road with the departure on Monday of Fulham managing director David McNally.

For some time Rangers have believed that McNally's possible exit could pave the way for them to re-sign Cook.

McNally presided over Fulham's signing of Cook from QPR last year and was involved in negotiations over the winger's possible return to his former club.

Rangers were unable to agree a fee for Cook's signing and also failed to secure a loan deal in January, allowing Charlton to step in and sign him on loan before the transfer window closed.

More recently Rangers have discussed a loan move for Cook with a view to a £2.5m transfer if he proved his long-term fitness after a knee injury.

But it was thought that in the event of McNally leaving, his successor could look to offload several players and Cook, who has not played in a competitive match for Fulham, may be among those available at a knockdown price.

At least one left-sided player is regarded as a must for Rangers this summer and the club also remain keen on Plymouth wide-man Peter Halmosi.

Adam Johnson of Middlesbrough has also been targeted but he looks well out of Dowie's reach unless Boro tie the highly-rated winger to a long-term contract and then loan him out.


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