Montpellier, the deposed French champions, will compete with Al-Gharafa for the signature of Djibril Cissé as Queens Park Rangers seek to offload the former France international after relegation to the Championship.
Cissé, who moved to Loftus Road from Lazio for £4m in January 2012, spent the second half of last season on loan at the Qatari club. Al-Gharafa are attempting to structure a permanent transfer for when the 31-year-old's loan spell expires on 30 June. QPR are receptive to a deal but Montpellier, who won the French league title in 2012 and finished ninth this time, have expressed an interest in returning the player to his homeland.
The former Liverpool and Sunderland forward is one of a number of players the new manager, Jean Fernandez, is considering with the Montpellier chairman, Louis Nicollin. "We want to recruit a forward because neither [Emanuel] Herrera nor [Gaeten] Charbonnier have really made an impression," Fernandez told L'Equipe. "But we're not just looking at Cissé. We are scouring the market. A number of players interest us and we're not in a hurry just yet. We have until September to finalise our plans."
QPR will listen to offers for Cissé, who has a year to run on his deal, as they seek to trim their wage bill after demotion to the second tier. Tal Ben Haim, DJ Campbell, Rob Hulse and Radek Cerny have all been released and Joey Barton will be allowed to leave for Marseille on a permanent deal if a compromise can be reached over his wage demands. The Turkish club Bursaspor have the option to make Anton Ferdinand's loan move permanent but have yet to indicate a desire to follow that through, while Ale Faurlín is expected to return from a similar spell at Palermo.