QPR are hoping to make the boldest statement of intent yet since their relegation from the Premier League by attempting to lure Tottenham and England striker Jermain Defoe to West London.
The R’s – who beat Ipswich 2-1 in their opening game of the 2013/14 campaign – are 5/1 favourites to win the Championship.
In some respects Loftus Road would be a home-from-home for the 30-year-old, having previously worked under Harry Redknapp at West Ham, Portsmouth and Spurs and played alongside the likes of Jermaine Jenas and Adel Taraabt at his current club.
The arrival of Roberto Soldado at Tottenham – who are 17/10 to register a top four finish in 2013/14 – for a club record fee seems to spell the end of Defoe’s first-choice striker status, however this is hardly reason enough for a player who has scored more than 100 Premier League goals to step down a division.
The lack of striking options for Andre Villas-Boas remains an issue after Defoe limped out of the Lilywhites recent friendly defeat to Monaco. With Soldado not having arrived at the club, the manager was forced to turn to youngster Harry Kane to replace the England man.
Defoe – who has scored 19 times in 54 appearances for his country – would undoubtedly be putting his international future at risk by plying his trade at a lower level in a World Cup year.
With a Europa League campaign in the offing as well as the chance of injury there will likely be plenty of opportunities for the London-born hitman to showcase his wares to Roy Hodgson.
The striker notched 15 Premier League goals last term, despite carrying an injury for the second half of the campaign and with top flight sides like Newcastle, Fulham and Crystal Palace all in the hunt for a striker, there are other avenues by which he could improve his first team options whilst remaining at the highest level.
Having already recruited Jermaine Jenas from Tottenham mid-way through last season – as well as taking Andros Townsend on loan – Redknapp has been linked with Spurs’ Scott Parker over the course of the summer.
Another Redknapp favourite who may be more amenable to stepping down a division is Peter Crouch. Unlike Defoe his England involvement seems to be a thing of the past and his Stoke City team are clearly fancied to struggle this term if a price of 11/4 about relegation is anything to go by.