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No. 35: Charlie Austin, QPR

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QPR confirm Dunne negotiations

Queens Park Rangers have confirmed that they are in talks to sign out-of-contract defender Richard Dunne, as ESPN revealed on Friday.

Richard Dunne has struggled with injury in recent times
Richard Dunne is on the comeback trail

Loftus Road chief executive Phil Beard has revealed QPR manager Harry Redknapp is keen to sign 33-year-old Dunne, but the finishing touches on the deal still need to be applied.

"He’s not signed yet but he's a player that Harry would like to bring to the club,” he told the Fulham Chronicle. “We’re looking at a number of players. The main thing is that they want to play for the club and are ready for the Championship, which is very different to the Premier League."

While Dunne has already had a medical with QPR, the Republic of Ireland has yet to finalise a possible one-year contract, with Loftus Road officials believed to be reluctant to hand him the terms he is looking for.

Dunne failed to kick a ball in the final season of his Aston Villa contract, as he battled a injuries that were exasperated by his uncomfortable appearances for Ireland in last summer’s Euro 2012 finals.

Even though Dunne made his comeback in Ireland’s international against Georgia last month, sources close to the deal have told ESPN that QPR chiefs have expressed concerns that his fitness levels may not stand up to the rigours of a hectic Championship promotion push, with a report in Ireland’s Sunday World newspaper claiming a pay-as-you play deal has been offered to the veteran Dubliner.

However, with QPR boss Redknapp believed to view Dunne as the ideal talisman to build his defence around next season and talks scheduled between all parties on Monday, a deal is expected to be thrashed out in the next 48 hours.

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