QPR deal a major break for Galway youngster Manning

Galway youngster Ryan Manning is set to join Premier League side QPR this week on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Manning, 18, played a huge part in Galway United’s promotion drive last season, scoring seven goals along the way including goals in both play-off games with UCD, and will travel to QPR tomorrow to sign with the London outfit.

Manning and his father Phelim thrashed out the terms of the deal in a pre-Christmas meeting with QPR boss Harry Redknapp and his assistant Les Ferdinand.

And, after his new club and former employers Galway United and Mervue United agreed a compensation package, the move got the go ahead in the last few days.

The left-footed attacker is giving himself six months to adjust to his surroundings and break into the first team squad.

“The two and a half years gives me a bit of time to settle in and hopefully break into the first team. I’ll start with the U21 team which is their reserve team. I haven’t played in about six weeks, and all of the lads over there are in the middle of their season,” said Manning, who has represented Ireland at U19 grade.

“I have some catching up to do. In my head I have put the first six months to getting used to the set-up, the full-time training and all that. By the start of next season I hope to push on and break into the first team.”

The loss of Manning will be tough on a Galway United side who will look to steady the ship this year after a three-year absence from the top flight.

Because Manning is under the age of 23, his former clubs are entitled to compensation for his development, despite him being out of contract.

Manning said he was ready to commit to the Tribesmen again this year, but the lure of the Premier League was something he couldn’t ignore.

“Last year was great, but it was a stepping stone for me. It was a step up from Mervue United the year before and this year will be another big step.

“I would have done another year with Galway United for sure, I’d love to have played in the Premier Division with them, but the chance came along and you can’t really turn these things down.

“I went over in December and we had a good chat with QPR. It was pretty much a done deal then, we shook hands on the deal. It was great to meet up with Harry and Les.

“It was all a bit surreal at the time having seen them on TV for so long. It’ll be hard work but I can’t wait to get started.”

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