QPR will double their attempts to get a new centre back by launching a £3.5million bid for Nedum Onuoha in the January transfer window.
If the bid for the Manchester City defender falls by the wayside, Rs will go back in for Sebastian Bassong at Tottenham.
Boss Neil Warnock was quick to name Onuoha as the one City player on his fantasy wish-list following the 3-2 home defeat to the table toppers on Saturday. In reality, the manager is hoping he gets lucky second time around after an overture for the 24-year-old fell on stony ground in the summer.
“I’ve got a list of maybe four of five players in the transfer window that I would really like, and if I get them it’s going to strengthen our squad considerably,” he said.
Onuoha has played only once for City this season, and that in a Carling Cup tie back in September. He wants away from a star-packed squad for regular first-team football. But the sticking point for Hoops might be his mother suffering from cancer at home in Manchester.
Rangers will hope they can somehow overcome this sensitive obstacle, but if not, the chase for Bassong at Spurs is the fallback.
The advantage for Hoops in landing Onuoha is that the former England U21 player can play either right or left back, with Warnock admiting he is resigned to losing two of his squad to the African Cup of Nations in January and February.
Both Adel Taarabt and Armand Traore are wanted by Morocco and Senegal respectively, and this is already weighing heavily on the manager’s mind.
He admitted the prospective loss makes new recruits a priority come January 1.
“If these two go to the cup, and it’s likely,” he added, “we need to take it into account.”