The west London club have turned down an offer for the controversial 22-year-old whilst Shakhtar Donetsk, Sunderland and West Brom have also made enquiries for the playmaker
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
The Serie A giants have registered their interest in the Moroccan, who has become a target of several leading clubs following his outstanding performances in QPR’s Championship-winning season.
Goal.com can disclose that Lazio have already had a £10.6 million bid rejected for Taarabt since the end of last season, whilst Shakhtar Donetsk, Sunderland and West Brom are also closely tracking the 22-year-old.
However, QPR are confident of fending off interest in their prize asset this summer, principally because he only wants to move to one of the world’s elite clubs.
“Taarabt is not interested in moving to a mid-table Premier League club,” an insider told Goal.com. “He wants to go to somewhere like Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona or Real Madrid. He would rather wait, show what he can do in the Premier League and then have a number of options on the table and go for the best one.”
A club of Juventus’ prestige would also fit the bill for Taarabt, although the Italians want to wait to see how he adapts to the Premier League in the first half of next season before putting together a deal to take the forward to Italy.
Although Juve’s scouts have given glowing reports about the Moroccan’s match-winning qualities, there are understood to be doubts about his temperament and consistency. Taarabt stormed out of the Moroccan camp earlier this month after learning he would not start an African Nations’ Cup qualifier against Algeria and vowed to quit playing for his country.
It is the latest controversy to hit the player’s career, although his 19 goals in 44 games for QPR last season were instrumental in getting the Londoners promoted and he is regarded at Loftus Road as a key player in their bid to avoid relegation next season.
Manager Neil Warnock has admitted that Taarabt requires careful handling but has managed to get the best out of the player in a roving role just behind the main striker.
QPR’s confidence that they can hang on to the Moroccan at least until the January window is bolstered by the knowledge that Taarabt has two years to run on a contract which will see his wages doubled to around £25,000-a-week as a direct result of the club’s promotion to the Premier League.
Tottenham could also benefit if QPR do cash in on their prize asset. He moved to Loftus Road last summer for £600,000, which could rise to £1m with performance-related add-ons.
White Hart Lane sources believe, however, that Spurs negotiated a sell-on clause that will allow them a cut of the transfer fee when Rangers sell him.