Trent Sainsbury is keen on a move to Europe — but is facing serious hurdles. Picture: Getty
Trent Sainsbury is keen on a move to Europe — but is facing serious hurdles. Picture: Getty

Aussie World Cup star’s Euro move in doubt

SOCCEROOS defender Trent Sainsbury's hopes of a move back to Europe looks to have hit the rocks with his Chinese club Jiangsu Suning playing hardball over a potential transfer.

The 26-year-old's impressive displays in the World Cup led to several inquiries about his availability and this week he jetted in to London for talks with English Championship side Queens Park Rangers.

However, AAP has been told a switch to Loftus Road, where he would have linked up with close friend and Socceroos teammate Massimo Luongo has hit the buffers after Jiangsu demanded a fee in excess of $1 million.

Trent Sainsbury is eyeing off a move to Queens Park Rangers. Picture: Toby Zerna
Trent Sainsbury is eyeing off a move to Queens Park Rangers. Picture: Toby Zerna

With less than six months remaining on his contract, this also precludes any option of a loan deal.

Sainsbury has been told he is not wanted by the Chinese Super League outfit, who this week relegated him to their reserve squad having loaned him out to Swiss side Grasshoppers in January.

Despite this, Suning are insisting on being recompensed for his services after handing him a $10 million contract when he signed in January 2016.

Sainsbury (R) impressed with his consistent displays during the Socceroos’ World Cup campaign. Picture: AAP
Sainsbury (R) impressed with his consistent displays during the Socceroos’ World Cup campaign. Picture: AAP

Unless the club drops its demands the former Central Coast Mariners and PEC Zwolle stopper could be left in limbo until the new year with QPR appealing a Financial Fair Play (FFP) fine and unwilling to pay a fee for a player they know they can sign for free in January.

Rangers manager Steve McClaren is keen to add Sainsbury to his squad before the season starts on August 4 after experienced defenders Nedum Onuoha, Jack Robinson and James Perch left the club in June.

Australia's Trent Sainsbury and Nicolai Jorgensen of Denmark contest the ball. Picture: AAP
Australia's Trent Sainsbury and Nicolai Jorgensen of Denmark contest the ball. Picture: AAP

A decision taken by English clubs to close the transfer window early on August 9 immediately after a World Cup has further muddied the waters.

That move was made to allow squads to be finalised before the start of the Premier League campaign on August 10 but it has further complicated the picture with selling clubs driving up transfer fees and buyers mindful of FFP.

A side in Greece are also keen to speak to the Perth-born centre-half but unless Suning drop their demands, Sainsbury will head back to China this weekend and see out the rest of his contract before leaving in the new year.


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