This past weekend it was reported that Newcastle were tracking QPR’s Irish left-back Ryan Manning for a possible January swoop.
Manning has just one year left on his deal at QPR though they hold an option to extend it to 2021. The report stated that the 23-year-old could be prised from Loftus Road for just £3m.
The former U-21 Republic of Ireland international switched to left wing-back late last season. He would be a perfect fit on the left for Newcastle’s 3-4-3 system. He could also provide cover in central midfield if necessary.
Southampton were the other club said to be tracking Manning. However, London Football News are now reporting that both West Ham and Watford have joined the race for the Irishman.
This increased competition for Manning could drive his fee up a bit. However, he still could prove a bargain in the £3-5m range.
Manning was rising through the ranks at QPR when former Newcastle manager Steve McClaren took the helm in May of 2018. McClaren sent Ryan on loan to Rotherham that summer.
When Manning was playing really well on loan, McClaren was asked about whether recalling him was something he would consider. This was McClaren’s response:
“I know he’s enjoying playing and he’s progressing and getting that experience. It’s definitely not out of the question that Ryan might come back, and that would also depend on him. So nearer the time we’ll have that conversation.”
“Ryan is a player that I really like. In the first two weeks of pre-season I said to Les (Ferdinand) ‘wow, he’s a good player’.
“He dipped a little bit after that and honestly it’s very difficult because he had the likes of Josh Scowen, (Massimo) Luongo, (Luke) Freeman and Ebere and the other players coming through – it was difficult for him to get regular games.
“He’s getting that now which is vital experience, and I said to Ryan when he left ‘this is short term; you’re a future QPR player – go and get some experience and when you come back you’ll be better for it’.”
McClaren did end up recalling Manning from his loan at Rotherham on December 31,2018. He played him just 47 minutes over the next three months until he was sacked on April 1, 2019, after a run of just one win in fifteen games.
Interim manager John Eustace came straight in and gave Manning a run of six straight starts and had him play at left-back. QPR amassed 7 points in those final six matches.