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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Paladini: No Cook Sale Unless Big.... No Cochrane Contract (Kosky/Kilburn Times)

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times - Crunch time for Cookie
17 July 2007

QPR are sticking to their guns over Lee Cook after spurning Fulham's bid to take the coveted winger to Craven Cottage.
Rangers are determined to hang on to their star player and, after turning down an offer of £1.5m for him last week, have yet to receive any further bids.
Chairman Gianni Paladini reiterated: "He doesn't want to go and we don't want to sell him. Unless we get a decent deal there's no way he's going anywhere.
"If someone offered £7m or £8m and Cook ended up earning £15,000 to £20,000 a week, of course it would be difficult to keep him because that's how football is
"That hasn't happened and there's no way he's going for £1.5m. I don't name a price to impress the fans, I say it to send a message to other clubs and tell them what we want."
Paladini placed an optimistic price tag of £10m on Cook's head last year but, with the winger's former club Watford entitled to 25 per cent of any transfer, Rangers must certainly drive a much harder bargain than £1.5m.
Speculation over the player's future increased after his absence from last Sunday's friendly against Celtic - but the club expect him to be involved in their next match at Wycombe a week on Saturday, along with captain Marcus Bignot and striker Dexter Blackstock.
Blackstock was taken off as a precaution after playing just 25 minutes against Celtic, while Cook and Bignot are both still recovering from surgery earlier in the summer.
QPR manager John Gregory explained: "Lee had a tidy-up on his knee and Marcus the same with his ankle. They're probably a week behind everyone else, so it's a question of getting them fit.
"Dexter got a dead leg, so he came off. If it had been a league game he'd have battled on, but there was no point - it's all about gearing up for August 11.
"You can go into these pre-season games full pelt, end up with three or four injuries and have people missing when it really matters."

Gregory confirmed that former QPR midfielder Justin Cochrane, who came on as a second-half substitute against Celtic, will not be offered a contract by the club.
Cochrane, 25, made one first-team appearance for Rangers in 2001 before moving to Hayes and returned to League football with Crewe, where he spent three years.
He played for Rotherham last season, but was released after their relegation and has been training at Loftus Road for the last fortnight." Kilburn Times

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