West Brom join hunt for Rangers target, but QPR look favourites
With Ally McCoist hinting that Rangers’ top scorer Nikica Jelavic may be allowed to leave Ibrox in January for the right price, a Premier League scramble is expected to develop for the Croatian striker.
Jelavic has proved a masterstroke of a signing since arriving at Rangers for £4m from Rapid Vienna last summer, scoring 33 times in 44 starts and topping the current SPL goals chart.
The 26-year-old has already netted 12 times in the current campaign and he seems pivotal to any hopes Rangers have of beating rivals Celtic to the SPL title.
However, if a club from the Premier League or elsewhere meets the club’s £9m valuation, McCoist may have no option but to sell.
West Brom are the latest Premier League club to join the race for Jelavic, with manager Roy Hodgson going first hand to watch the striker in action during Rangers’ 1-0 defeat to Celtic.
However, Hodgson will have to work some serious magic if West Brom are to see off the challengers for Jelavic’s signature, given they are perhaps among the least likely to be able to meet this valuation.
Everton could certainly benefit from a striker, but they too may have difficulty stumping up the cash.
Therefore, the battle seems to be between QPR and Sunderland.
QPR spent big in the summer to bring in numerous new faces and Neil Warnock is preparing another raid to ensure their Premier League survival.
Meanwhile, Martin O’Neill is sure to have a mini war chest available following his recent appointment as Sunderland manager and a striker will certainly be his leading target.
Jelavic could be a major acquisition for any of these clubs in their survival bids, with QPR currently 12/5 in the Premier League odds to be relegated, Sunderland 8/1 in the same market and West Brom 20/1.