English club reopens talks to sign star Socceroos defender

Ian McCullough

Trent Sainsbury's move to Queens Park Rangers could be back on after the English Championship side began negotiations with Jiangsu Suning over a fee for the Socceroos defender.

The 26-year-old and his representatives were in London last week for talks with Rangers' director of football Les Ferdinand and manager Steve McClaren about a switch from China, where he's been told he's surplus to requirements.

However, any potential deal looked dead after Jiangsu demanded $AU1.5 million, which is what they paid Dutch side PEC Zwolle for his services in 2016, despite Sainsbury having just five months remaining on his current deal.

But with the Championship season kicking off on August 4 and the English transfer window closing on August 9 - three weeks earlier than in previous years - QPR have stepped up their quest to sign Sainsbury.

Discussions were taking place with powerbrokers from the Nanjing-based club on Wednesday with the west Londoners hopeful a deal can be thrashed out before the weekend.

QPR lost first-choice centre-halves Jack Robinson and Nedum Onuoha at the end of last season and are desperate to bolster their depth at the position.

Sainsbury might finally get his move to England. Pic: Getty

Tellingly, the club released their squad numbers for the 2018/19 campaign on Wednesday and the No.5 shirt was left vacant, giving the biggest hint yet that the arrival of a defender is imminent.

Despite his strong showings with the Socceroos at the World Cup, Sainsbury found out he was relegated to the Jiangsu's reserve squad last month while on holiday in Greece.

With a loan deal not possible he faces the prospect of little to no game time before the start of the Asian Cup on January 5 unless he gets a move.

After a decent start to his career in China, Sainsbury has seen six different managers pass through the doors and the instability in the coaching room has seen him shunted further down the pecking order with every new appointment.

Sainsbury is very close to QPR midfielder Massimo Luongo and a should negotiations run smoothly, he could be in the squad alongside his Socceroos roommate for Saturday's trial match against German side Union Berlin on Saturday.