Queens Park Rangers are keen to secure the services of Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford, who may be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge by manager Jose Mourinho this summer - but only on loan.
The London Evening Standard report that Bamford, who turns 21 in September, is wanted by several clubs in both the Championship and Premier League. Chelsea have received four offers for the England Under-21 international and it’s now up to the player and his employers to decide where he’ll spend the 2014/15 campaign.
Bamford: The story so far
Bamford arrived at Stamford Bridge from Nottingham Forest in January 2012. Chelsea paid £1.5 million for the young striker, who signed a five-year deal with the west London outfit.
With competition for places fierce, Bamford was loaned out to MK Dons during the 2012/13 season. He went on to score four goals in 14 appearances before returning to the League One side the following season.
It was during the 2013/14 campaign where he showed exactly why Chelsea signed him in the first place. He scored 14 league goals in 23 games before securing a loan move to Championship outfit Derby County in the second half of the season.
Bamford continued his impressive scoring run by netting eight goals in 21 matches for the beaten play-off finalists.
Watch: Bamford scoring goals for Chelsea’s reserve side
Mourinho has high hopes for Bamford
Bamford’s impressive performances for his loan clubs, combined with his encouraging displays in the Blues’ reserve team, have left the coaching staff at Stamford Bridge - Mourinho included - convinced that the 6ft 1in forward has a future in the Blues’ first team.
The 20-year-old is currently preparing for the new season in Austria, where Chelsea’s pre-season training camp is based, and started in both of the Blues’ friendly victories over Wycombe Wanderers and AFC Wimbledon.
However, Mourinho still intends to loan out the youngster, whose preferred destination could be Loftus Road.
What can QPR offer Bamford?
With Loic Remy set to join Liverpool, QPR have a space available for Bamford. It’s likely that Harry Redknapp will attempt to bring in a more experienced replacement for the France international, but Bamford would be offered the chance to play Premier League football for the first time by joining the newly-promoted Rs.
Joining QPR would also spare him the ordeal of relocating: just four miles separate Loftus Road and Stamford Bridge.
However, Bamford is likely to get more minutes by joining another Championship club, and may decide to continue his development in English football’s second tier.