Galatasaray have offered Sandro an escape from his Queen’s Park Rangers visa limbo.
The Brazilian midfielder has not been allowed to play in England after part of his work visa – the certificate of sponsorship – was mistakenly allowed to expire in December. Renewing the certificate is a simple procedure but it was not done. The Home Office discovered this in May and investigated QPR, later suspending the club’s right to sponsor the visas of players from outside the European Union.
QPR have submitted an appeal in the hope both of lifting that suspension and being granted a new certificate of sponsorship for Sandro. If this appeal is unsuccessful, Sandro will be judged to have “overstayed” his visa and will not be allowed to return to the United Kingdom for 12 months.
Even if the appeal does succeed, which is far from certain, Sandro is still likely to leave QPR this summer. Director of football Les Ferdinand is trying to move on the club’s highest earners and Sandro is among them, with two years left on a £50,000-per-week contract.
Rangers paid Tottenham £8million for him last summer. Given the current uncertainty over Sandro’s eligibility, QPR accept they are unlikely to receive anywhere near that sum. Sandro’s salary puts him out of reach of many foreign sides but Turkish champions Galatasaray have shown the strongest interest. Even they would be unwilling to pay much more than a £2m fee and a loan deal later in the window may be the likeliest outcome. There is also interest in the player from Italy, and from the lucrative markets of China and the Middle East.
Ferdinand and manager Chris Ramsey are trying to rebuild the QPR squad with a new wage structure, and are unwilling to pay any player more than £15,000 – or at most £20,000 – per week. They are trying to move on Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips, who has attracted the attention of Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland. So far QPR have re-signed striker Jamie Mackie and brought in Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Massimo Luongo and Ben Gladwin.
QPR are now targeting the Spanish market and have identified Dani Garcia of Eibar as a priority in midfield. The 25-year-old has been a consistent performer and would be available for €1.5m (£1.1m), although Rangers face competition from Malaga, Rayo Vallecano and Athletic Bilbao.