QPR to free Austin’s scoring pressure with move for Inter man

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In the world of football, January just wouldn’t be January if Harry Redknapp didn’t make a transfer deal or two and, for the sake of keeping up appearances, QPR’s manager looks set to land his first signing of his favourite time of year.

Despite sitting second in the Championship this term, having lost just four games, a lack of Hooped firepower has allowed leaders Leicester to open up a five-point gap at the top of the table.

As such, QPR are 9/5 to win the league and if they are to haul in the rampaging Foxes, who are 3/4 shots to lift the trophy, they must find an alternative source of goals to leading scorer Charlie Austin.

That’s where Inter Milan outcast Ishak Belfodil comes in. The  22-year-old Algerian, who represented the French age groups between U17 and U20 levels, has looked nailed on for a move to London since the start of the transfer window, although West Ham looked likely to nab him in those opening stages.

As the Hammers’ talks crumbled, it left the coast clear for Redknapp to pounce, eyeing a loan move for the remainder of the season with the obligatory option to make the move permanent in the summer thrown in.

Having scored eight times for Parma in 33 appearances before embarking on a co-ownership venture with Inter Milan, where he’s since made just eight appearances of which one has been a start.

His potential arrival must be like a huge weight lifted from the shoulders of Austin who leads the way by some distance at the Loftus Road club, with 13 goals to his next rival’s two.

Of the other strikers at the club, only two have managed to find the net in league assignments this term, with Andrew Johnson netting twice and youngster Tom Hitchcock once, so Belfodil’s appearance couldn’t be more overdue.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.