Queens Park Rangers may have clinched their return to the Premier League, but rumours of signing Rio Ferdinand or Frank Lampard are wide of the mark.
The Loftus Road club were often second best against Derby County in the Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium last Saturday, but a last-gasp Bobby Zamora goal ensured their return to the top-flight a year after the heartbreak of relegation. In the days that have followed, perhaps unsurprisingly, Harry Redknapp has been linked with a host of players, including two of the finest to grace the country in the modern era.
Ferdinand has been released after an illustrious 12-year spell at Manchester United, during which time he won six Premier League titles, two League Cups and a UEFA Champions League. Despite suffering from injuries in recent times and the fact he will turn 36-years-old in November, the former England international has decided against hanging up his boots, and has confirmed he is seeing a new club for next season.
Lampard, 36 next month, will also become a free agent unless he is offered a fresh deal by Chelsea. The all-time top goalscorer for the Stamford Bridge club, the midfielder, part of Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup Finals, has been at the London outfit since 2001, and he has played an integral role in their collection of three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, a Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
Both players are obviously well known to Redknapp, who gave them their first chances in the game whilst at West Ham United together. The QPR manager would love a reunion with the experienced pair at Loftus Road as he looks to avoid an instant return to the second-tier of English football, but the 67-year-old is realistic enough to admit both are likely to have more attractive options than to join a newly-promoted side.
“I would think there’s absolutely no chance of getting Frank Lampard,” Redknapp, speaking at the launch of the new 2014/15 QPR strips, said. “He’s at Chelsea. I’d be very surprised if Chelsea don’t keep him anyway – he’s just been such a fantastic player. Rio Ferdinand’s now a free agent but I’m sure he’s going to have so many offers. Again, I love Rio, I signed them both as 15-year-olds but the chances of getting them to QPR are very slim.”