QPR join Bristol Rovers, PNE and Swansea in Brighton transfer race

Marc Leonard is wanted by clubs in the Championship and League One. (Image: Getty Images) Marc Leonard is wanted by clubs in the Championship and League One. (Image: Getty Images)
Marc Leonard is wanted by clubs in the Championship and League One. (Image: Getty Images)
Bristol Rovers are said to have missed out on one transfer target - and now face stiff competition from the Championship for another.

QPR have joined the race to sign Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Marc Leonard, who is wanted by several clubs in different divisions.

Leonard, who was a reported target for Bristol Rovers in the January transfer window, has suitors both in the Championship and in League One, and is likely to depart the Seagulls for a second successive season on loan. The 21-year-old has returned to pre-season training with the Sussex outfit, but is some way off making their first-team, who have a Europa League campaign to look forward to.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

After confirming the Hoops interest in Lewis Wing who left Wycombe Wanderers, Sunday News Sports editor Darren Witcoop said: "Brighton midfielder Marc Leonard, who impressed on loan at Northampton last season, is also under consideration at Loftus Road."

It was reported in June by the same source that Northampton want to re-sign Leonard, as do Bristol Rovers with several League One clubs also showing an interest. His time at Northampton was his first loan spell away, and Brighton are said to be favouring a move to the Championship, which will help aid him best in his development. Leonard's contract was due to expire this summer, but his club activated a clause that will extend his stay for a further 12-months, but a successful loan spell at his next destination could set him up properly if he departs the AMEX Stadium in 2024.

In the past year, Luton Town, Preston North End and Swansea City have all been linked with him. Luton's promotion to the Premier League rules that out, but both Preston and Swansea City could be reasonable destinations. A left-field move to consider is also Legia Warsaw, with reports in Scotland claiming they had expressed an interest in him.

Leonard was on loan at Northampton Town last season, but there was talk of him being recalled, and sent to a club in a higher division. He remained at Sixfields and helped them get promoted, appearing 45 times in the 2022/23 season. He got one goal and one assist, and can play as a central midfielder, defensive midfielder and as an attacking midfielder.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He is a seven time Scotland Under-21 international and also played for their U17's and U19's team. He's got two outings for Brighton's senior team which came in the Carabao Cup, but has mainly played in the Under-18 Premier League and the Premier League 2 which is mainly Under-21's players, though does feature a few that are over age.

In other news, Bristol Live reports that Rovers made an attempt to sign goalkeeper Connor Ripley, before he signed with Port Vale. It is said in the report that Ripley decided to make the move to Vale Park because of geographical locations. He was at Morecambe for a season and was ever present for the Shrimps, but despite his eight clean sheets, he could not stop them from being relegated. Ripley has 128 League One games under his belt, and has 31 clean sheets, last season he saved a penalty from Scott Sinclair in their 5-1 win over the Gas in January.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.