Andros Townsend's impressive displays for QPR look set to lead to a £5m bid from Swansea this summer.
The Tottenham winger is currently on loan with the Hoops and his performances since moving to Loftus Road in January in their fight for Premier League survival have caught the eye.
Despite the likelihood that QPR will be relegated, Townsend will return to White Hart Lane with his reputation enhanced, and Spurs can expect a bid during the summer transfer window.
Swansea have been monitoring the situation closely and The Evening Standard understands they are considering a £5m summer offer for Townsend, who is not among the top earners at Spurs and is under contract until the end of 2016. The highest earner at Swansea is thought to be the Spanish forward Michu, who signed a new contract worth a basic £30,000 per week earlier in the campaign.
Townsend has made nine appearances under Harry Redknapp, who knew the player from his time as Tottenham manager, and has scored two goals. The spell at Rangers is Townsend’s ninth loan stint since he signed a professional deal at Spurs but the first at a club in the Premier League.
The Swans’ tactics allowed wide players to flourish when they were promoted to the top division under Brendan Rodgers in 2011, and wingers have continued to enjoy life under Rodgers’s successor, Michael Laudrup. The Dane favours a 4-2-3-1 system, with plenty of attacking freedom granted to the wide men.
After Scott Sinclair earned a move to Manchester City last summer, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez have been influential performers at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea believe Townsend, who is left-footed but can play on either flank, would have similar success if he moved to south Wales.
West Brom also showed an interest in Townsend a year ago but at the time there were doubts about the winger’s ability to perform in the Premier League, in which he made his debut only last September. The 21-year-old did not start his first game in the competition until he moved to QPR. It is thought Townsend would prefer to stay at Spurs but he will seek assurances about the club’s plans for him when he goes back at the end of the season. Townsend is thought to be highly regarded by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy but has yet to have a sustained run in the first team.
He has made 18 appearances since making his debut against Charlton in the FA Cup in January 2011. Townsend may consider his options if he is not satisfied that he would play regularly next season. There are parallels with Steven Caulker, another England Under-21 international, who proved himself in the top flight during a loan spell at Swansea last season.
Caulker returned to Spurs last summer and was given his chance by head coach Andre Villas-Boas. The centre-back has made 27 first-team appearances this year, gaining full England honours, and is the leading light of a generation of home-grown players also featuring Townsend and 20-year-old midfielder Tom Carroll. Spurs do not want to lose Townsend but if they see no clear route to the first team for him, they might decide to cash in on a player whose stock has risen.
In an interview with The Evening Standard in February, shortly after joining QPR, Townsend said: “It’s hard at Tottenham because you have to compete with players from across Europe. We know how tough it’s going to be but we’ve all been given chances. It’s up to us to take them.
“[The move to QPR] is my big chance to show what I can do. Andre Villas-Boas has told me that he doesn’t want to sell me and that I’m in his plans for the future.”
“He called me on deadline day to wish me luck at QPR, which was encouraging. I’m confident I can eventually break into the Tottenham team.”