After Queens Park Rangers had a bid of around $2.5 million accepted for U.S. international defender Tim Ream on Thusday, the Bolton Wanderers defender looked set to sign at Loftus Road.
But then, there was a twist.
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QPR’s Championship and London rivals Fulham made a late bid to Bolton for Ream, and the Cottagers now appear to be in the driving seat to sign the central defender according to sources with knowledge of the deal.
A source confirmed to ProSoccerTalk on Saturday that it is now “highly likely” that Ream will sign for Fulham instead of QPR (who were relegated from the Premier League last season) after the second-tier side tabled a comparable bid. Fulham is said to have made a “late push” for Ream, as Kit Symons looks to bolster his defensive options following a disappointing 17th place finish in the Championship last season after their relegation from the PL in 2014.
Both QPR and Fulham are likely to be challenging for promotion back to the Premier League this season, and with Ream battling away in the lower reaches of the Championship since 2012 when Bolton were relegated from the PL just six months after he arrived, the St. Louis native will be eager to get back into England’s top-flight.
Joining the Cottagers could give him a better chance of doing so than with cash-strapped Bolton.
Ream has become a bit of a legend for the Trotters, winning the fans’ Player of the Year award in each of the last two season’s, but now seems like the right time for the 27-year-old to move on.
London will be his next destination, and it seems as though Fulham is his preference over QPR. A deal will likely be wrapped up one way or another by early next week, as the summer transfer window in England slams shut on Sept. 1.