Cesena can’t afford Almeida, Sunderland and QPR back in hunt

Inside Loftus Road

Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers may re-enter the battle to sign out-of-contract Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida, according to an Italian transfer expert.

Free agent Hugo Almeida had been in talks with Serie A minnows Cesena, but the Emilia-Romagna outfit weren't able to meet his wage demands.

The former Besiktas man is looking for a new club as quickly as possible but he wasn't willing to lower his financial expectations.

Reports from Italian transfer expert Alfredo Pedullà suggest that Almeida initially believed he was going to sign for Galatasaray, but Cesare Prandelli's arrival ended the club's interest.

Almeida spoke to Cesena, but the club were said to only be able to offer £550,000 plus bonuses, roughly half the sum the player asked for.

It is still possible that Almeida will consider taking a pay cut, but it has been suggested that QPR and Sunderland may re-enter the fray, hoping to secure a bargain.

The 30-year-old ended a three-year stay with Besiktas this summer where he scored 37 goals in 88 games. Prior to that he netted 36 in 89 for Werder Bremen after signing permanently following a loan spell in 2006-07.

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