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Blackburn Rovers are ready to try and hijack QPR’s pursuit of Fulham midfielder Stefan Johansen, according to a Lacanshire Evening Telegraph report this morning.

Rovers have lost four central midfielders during the close season and have revived their longstanding interest in former Norwegian captain Johansen. The 31 year-old was on Tony Mowbray’s radar in January but the former Celtic midfielder opted to make the short switch to Shepherd’s Bush in search of first team football after having seen his opportunities limited under Scott Parker.

Parker’s departure for Bournemouth this week might impact on Johansen’s immediate Fulham future, with the Whites now rumoured to be close to appointing Marco Silva as their new manager. Johansen has proven his ability in the Championship, having been part of two Fulham play-off winning squads, and may well be reintegrated into the Craven Cottage squad after returning to pre-season training.

Rangers haven’t given up hope of signing Johansen permanently after his impressive loan spell at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, where he scored three goals in 21 appearances as QPR finished the season strongly. Negotiations between the two local rivals stalled whilst Fulham finalised Parker’s exit and the Whites have been playing handball, demanding a fee that reflects Johansen’s ability and enduring value – as the experienced midfielder still has a year left on his current contract.

The revival of Rovers’ interest in the energetic midfielder might spark a bidding war that could raise any transfer fee should Fulham be minded to allow Johansen to leave. The Cottage cult hero has made 136 appearances in five years in SW6, scoring 21 goals. He formed a swashbuckling triumvirate alongside former Blackburn midfielder Tom Cairney and Kevin McDonald in Slavisa Jokanovic’s watchable side that won promotion in 2018/2019.