Queens Park Rangers midfielder Ilias Chair is attracting major transfer interest, with Brentford, Bournemouth, Reading and Watford all linked to his signature, per The Sun (10/01, p59).
The diminutive Belgian has impressed under Mark Warburton this season and is now a target for teams further up in the Championship table – let’s take a look at Watford’s reported interest specifically and see if it’s likely to happen this month.
What do we know so far?
After the big-money summer departure of Ebere Eze to Crystal Palace, Warburton needed someone to fill the creative hole he left behind – and for that someone to supply new strikers Lyndon Dykes and Macauley Bonne.
As it has turned out, Chair has become a bigger goal threat than both of them since being handed a regular place in the starting line-up, netting five times in the league this season already.
Normally playing in the ’10’ or cutting in from the left, the 23-year-old’s form has predictably seen him linked to the upper echelons of the EFL, although whether the linked clubs have the funds to spend this month remains to be seen.
If Chair stays at the R’s though and his form continues, he will sooner than later gain Premier League interest – which could be a head-turner if a move to a promotion-chasing Championship side isn’t.
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Is it likely to happen?
It would be a real surprise if Chair was to depart the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium this month, and especially to a league rival.
QPR can’t afford to lose their most creative talent in consecutive windows, and even then it would likely take a big bid to prize Chair away.
A more realistic departure looks to be Bright Osayi-Samuel, who is out of contract in the summer – in contract Chair has two-and-a-half years remaining on his deal in West London.
Watford, Brentford and others can try for Chair, but it’s highly unlikely that they’d be successful.