More clubs join Hendrie race

Last updated : 26 September 2006 By Nik Taylor

Palace face further competition for the loan signing of Aston Villa's Lee Hendrie after QPR were added to his list of suitors.

QPR, who are now managed by former Villa boss John Gregory, join Palace and Wolves in the bidding for the player. Several other unnamed clubs are also keeping an eye on the situation.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill is happy to loan the 29-year-old while he looks to fully recover from a niggling calf injury.

And with Hendrie beginning to prove his fitness by completing a reserve game last night, O'Neill hinted that a deal could be struck sooner rather than later.

"There are a number of teams who are looking to take him on loan and I wouldn't want to betray confidences by naming them. John Gregory has enquired about him," O'Neill told Villa's official site.

"He played for the reserves last night. We will see how fit he is because it is all about games with him.

"We'll know more later today. Crystal Palace have maintained an interest and everybody is just waiting until he gets fit, and then hopefully he'll be able to prove a point."

Palace manager Peter Taylor is known to favour stalling on the move until after this weekend's game at Hull, as the international break that follows means Hendrie would not then play for another two weeks.

However, the increasing interest in the former England man may force Taylor's hand.