Queens Park Rangers are interested in signing Chuba Akpom with Championship rivals Middlesbrough expected to sell the £3 million striker, as reported by TEAMtalk.
The implication was clear.
Speaking to the Gazette after Boro ended the 2020/21 season in an underwhelming tenth place, Neil Warnock insisted a top-half place was actually quite an achievement.
“It’s very difficult to finish high in any league without a striker,” Warnock said.
Of course, Middlesbrough did have a striker. Three of them in fact.
It’s just none of Britt Assombalonga, Ashley Fletcher and Chuba Akpom came close to reaching double figures and, by the time May rolled around, all three were out of favour.
Assombalonga and Fletcher will leave the Riverside when their contracts expire in July and, according to TEAMtalk, Akpom will be on his way too, only one year after joining from PAOK for a cool £3 million.
Middlesbrough have told the London-born former England U21 international to find another club.
And a return to the capital could be on the cards, with QPR battling Bristol City, Charlton and Millwall, although a loan deal may be more likely than a permanent transfer because of Akpom’s sizeable wages.
Warnock was “delighted” to finally get his hands on his “number one target” last summer but, despite an impressive start to life in the north east, the goals soon dried up for the one-time Arsenal youngster.
Should he move on to QPR, Akpom may be given the unenviable task of replacing fans’ favourite Charlie Austin at Loftus Road.