'Deal done' - Ex QPR and Arsenal man to join rivals after contract talks breakdown

The winger is set to move to Cardiff City as a free agent.The winger is set to move to Cardiff City as a free agent.
The winger is set to move to Cardiff City as a free agent. | Getty Images
The winger came through the youth academy and was a key first team player for QPR last season.

QPR winger Chris Willock has left the club as a free agent following a breakdown in contract negotiations. The 26-year-old is set to join Championship rivals Cardiff City in a transfer coup for the Welsh side.

Marti Cifuentes had been determined to keep the player, who was a key part of the Catalan coach's plans last season as he racked up 39 Championship appearances, and talks over a renewal were underway. However, QPR confirmed on Wednesday that the side was 'unable to reach an agreement' with Willock.

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To rub salt into the wounds of R's supporters, Football Insider also reports that the forward has already agreed a deal with their rivals Cardiff City to sign as a free agent. The Bluebirds have beaten competition from Sunderland to secure the player's signature.

Willock is a product of the Arsenal youth academy and spent 14 years with the Gunners as he worked his way up through the ranks. He only made two first team appearances for Arsenal, coming as Carabao Cup cameos in 2016, before moving to Benfica B.

QPR will now look to recruit a suitable replacement for the first team star. The R's have been linked with transfer interest in Crystal Palace man Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and Beerschot winger Thibaud Verlinden.

Chris Willock is expected to join Cardiff City.Chris Willock is expected to join Cardiff City.
Chris Willock is expected to join Cardiff City.

Speaking to the club website about Willock's departure, CEO Christian Nourry said: “On behalf of the football club I want to thank Chrissy for his contributions during his time with us. It is no secret that, as a club, we would have liked to have found a way to continue the adventure with him. After several months of talks, Chris has decided to go in another direction.

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“Whilst we are disappointed not to see him continuing with us, it is important that we have players in the building who we know are all-in on being a QPR player, committed to the club’s game model and the work that Martí and Xavi and the rest of the coaching staff are undertaking.

“Most importantly, we need individuals who are as convinced and excited about the project that the club is now building as we are, whilst respecting budgetary constraints. We wish Chris well for the future and thank him for four years of excellent service.”

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