This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to West London Sport, QPR are ‘monitoring’ Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu, who is also attracting interest from Celtic, Wigan, Bristol City and Derby.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the R’s are reportedly keen on the forward who impressed for Hearts on their way to the Scottish Cup final last season, where they were beaten by Celtic.

Ikpeazu, formerly of Watford and Reading, has scored 10 goals in 37 appearances since signing for Hearts on a free transfer from Cambridge United back in the summer of 2018.

The 24-year-old has found the back of the net twice in the Scottish Premiership so far this season, while also grabbing two assists.

Life after Jordan Hugill

Of course, QPR’s two main strikers this season in Jordan Hugill and Nahki Wells are on loan, so their long-term futures at the club are far from concrete.

Forgetting Wells for a second – for he isn’t a similar player to Ikpeazu in terms of physique – Hugill’s similarities to Ikpeazu in terms of playing style could suggest that Director of Football Les Ferdinand is planning for life without the on-loan West Ham man.

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Football Insider recently reported that the Hammers have made Hugill – who has scored six Championship goals for the R’s this season – available for just £5m, but his Premier League wages could prove to be a stumbling block for interested parties.

As a result, 6 foot 3 Ikpeazu – who is three inches taller than Hugill and plays in a similarly robust style – could potentially be in Ferdinand’s sights as a candidate to replace the former Preston striker, if it does turn out to be too difficult to sign him on a permanent deal.

One would assume that many QPR fans would love to see Hugill signed permanently given his stunning form so far this term, but the interest in Ikpeazu – a player of similar physical stature to the 27-year-old – is perhaps telling of Ferdinand’s strategy.


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Billy Meyers