According to reports, Crystal Palace are set to go head-to-head with Celtic for the signing of QPR midfielder Ryan Manning this summer, following a string of impressive performances in the R’s first-team.
Still just 21, Manning moved to Loftus Road in 2015 after learning his trade in Irish football, first with Mervue United and then Galway United. Initially brought in by Harry Redknapp, he struggled for appearances under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink before current Hoops boss Ian Holloway arrived and showed more faith in his game.
Since the start of the 2017/18 season, Manning has featured 18 times, scoring two goals but in truth it’s his form since March which has provoked both Palace and Celtic to seriously consider making a move for him when the current campaign comes to a close.
His seven appearances since then have produced two goals, with Holloway’s men having won on four occasions, in that run. Of course, decent performances in the Championship aren’t always a solid indication of how a player will fare in the top flight but given his age, it’s not hard to see why clubs like us are now sniffing around.
Looked upon mainly as an attacking central midfielder, feasible questions could be asked about Manning’s chances of breaking into Roy Hodgson’s side from the start of next season but for a player who has to date, not played above the second tier, the chance of plying his trade against England’s biggest and best may prove too tempting to turn down.
Thankfully for us, QPR’s finances point towards them having no option but to listen to offers for their players between June and August, leaving the path open for both Hodgson and Rodgers to test the water with bids early on in the summer window.
It would be ridiculous of me to pretend I know a great deal about the Irishman’s attributes, quality or chances of carving out a successful career with us in the long run but I’m sure I’m not alone in being intrigued by the possibility of his arrival.
QPR, Celtic or Palace, which would you plump for if you were in Manning’s shoes?