Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa was reportedly keen on striking a deal with Queens Park Rangers for Massimo Luongo in June, but London Football News understand the boss has now turned his attention away from the Australian international midfielder.
It was thought our Argentine head coach would look to rival Nottingham Forest in a bid to sign Luongo and play into the 5 ft 7 ace entering the final year of his contract at Loftus Road, given chances of a new deal were slim as Rangers have implemented a new wage structure that would have left the 26-year-old forced to accept a pay cut.
R’s Sporting Director Les Ferdinand also revealed not long after that Luongo had been placed on their transfer list as part of a summer fundraising mission, with the 42-cap international valued at $7million (£5.5m) by his West London side.
QPR boss Mark Warburton has also left the midfielder out of his pre-season plans as he prepares his squad for another Championship season, albeit with Luongo in the side.
“Massimo has been a loyal servant of the club for the last four years, and his passion and commitment for QPR has always been there for everyone to see out on the pitch,” Warburton told the R’s official website.
“Massimo’s future could now lie away from QPR, and therefore it is important that we prepare for that potential eventuality.”
It is unclear at present whether QPR’s asking price has paved the way for Bielsa to look at alternatives, but Luongo is no longer a player of interest for the boss, leaving Forest with an open goal to score his signature.
This news will likely disappoint some Whites fans who had previously shared their hopes in the Australian moving to Elland Road this summer, as there will likely be a vacancy in the centre of our midfielder with doubt raised over the futures of Adam Forshaw and Kalvin Phillips since the 2018/19 season drew to a close.
Fans who reacted to the early Luongo links described the Rangers ace as a “really good player”, and labelled the rumours as finally being some “great news”.