Queens Park Rangers defender Toni Leistner says it was a lack of playing time that forced him to leave the club in January.

Leistner was a regular for QPR after arriving from FC Union Berlin on a free transfer in 2018 and was even made captain by former manager Steve Mclaren.

However, he has found himself out of contention under Mark Warburton since his arrival at the club and, after regularly featuring at the beginning of the season, was left out of the squad from the beginning of January.

That saw him depart at the end of the winter transfer window, joining FC Köln on loan until the end of the season.

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And sitting down with an interview with BZ-Berlin, he revealed there were options to go elsewhere.

“The first year (at QPR) was really good for me,” he told the newspaper.

“Coach Steve McClaren made me the captain right away. But this team is also going up and down under his successor Mark Warburton.

 “I hardly played with him in the preparation for summer 2019. After that, I did every game. When the transfer period started in January 2020, I was left out again.  

“I had concrete offers from Rubin Kazan, from Moscow and Istanbul. I didn’t see myself in these countries at the time. After Berlin and London, you are spoiled.”

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A return to QPR is doubtful for Leistner this summer, with Warburton having made clear that he has no place for him in his squad.

Leistner has likewise stated he does not want to return, although at present it isn’t known where he will end up next.

A permanent switch to Köln is one option for him, although head of sport Horst Heldt has said that it will not be happening.

Leistner seemingly has different information, though, stating that he’s blocked other moves because of a verbal agreement with the Germans when asked about a potential return to FC Union Berlin.

“I’ve always followed them (Union Berlin) and kept my fingers crossed,” he added.

“At Union, you could always see a clear line with which some opponents had to fight. I have to take my hat off that Union has kept the class with its means.

“The phone hasn’t rung yet. Maybe that happens after this interview (laughs).

“I am now relying on the oral promise from Cologne. Therefore we block all the other offers.”