Mackie gets his wish as he leaves Argyle for Warnock's QPR
Plymouth Argyle have conducted their first bit of transfer business this summer by allowing Jamie Mackie to join Coca-Cola Championship side Queen's Park Rangers for an undisclosed fee.
The 24-year-old ended the season just finished as the Pilgrims' top goalscorer with eight goals, but has been heavily linked with a move away from Home Park for some time with Derby County, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United said to be keen on signing him during the January transfer window.
However, he will now link up with Neil Warnock after the two clubs agreed a fee believed to be in the region of £500,000, although Exeter City will be entitled to 20 per cent of any profit Argyle make on the transfer as part of the deal struck when Mackie signed from the Grecians in January 2008.
"I am really excited to be here," Mackie said after signing a four-year deal with the R's. "I'm excited to be working for a top manager who knows all about the Championship.
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"From my knowledge of the league, I am sure QPR will be right up there next season and that was a massive draw for me."
Mackie started his career at Wimbledon – before they became Milton Keynes Dons – and he made 16 appearances for the club before his release. Alex Inglethorpe acted swiftly to sign him for Exeter, where he really made a name for himself at the early part of City's promotion season from the Conference in 2008.
Argyle fought off competition from a number of suitors to land him in a £125,000 deal and Mackie made an instant impression by scoring after just 11 seconds on his Pilgrims debut. That was the first of 16 goals he scored in 98 appearances for Argyle.
In what has been a miserable season at Home Park – culminating in relegation to League One – Mackie has been one of Argyle's better players which is why interest in him has been so high. However, it is Warnock and Rangers who have won the race for his signature with the ex-Plymouth boss happy to get his man.
"I'm really pleased to get him in," he said. "With my connections down there, he's a player I have seen, heard and read a lot about and he was a stand-out striker for them this season.
"He's full of enthusiasm and when I first met him there was nothing else on his mind other than playing for QPR."
Meanwhile, the club have announced that Ollie Cheoweth, Jordan Trott, Sean Kinsella and Ryan Leonard have all been offered professional terms at Home Park after completing their two-year apprenticeships.
Leonard and Kinsella have both been offered one-year deals by the Pilgrims, with Cheoweth and Trott agreeing six-month contracts.
The Greens have also announced that talented youngsters Jamie Richards, 15, and Jack Stephens, 16, have committed their futures to the club after some impressive performances for both the under-18 side and reserve team this year.
Out of contract defender Gary Sawyer is facing an uncertain future with Bristol City appearing to backtrack on an offer made for his services.
The 24-year-old left-back is available on a free transfer having allowed his Home Park deal to expire and it was thought he would sign for Bristol City on a permanent deal this summer after ending the campaign on loan at Ashton Gate.
However, since joining the Robins, Sawyer has seen a change in management with Gary Johnson replaced as manager. Steve Coppell is the new man in charge and he is reluctant to offer any deal to Sawyer until he has seen him play.
Speaking to the Robins' official website, Coppell said: "As far as I'm concerned the talks haven't progressed because I want to make an assessment.
"In an ideal world I will have two weeks of pre-season training – maybe play a couple of games – and then I will be able to say right, this is what I want to do. Hopefully the players I want will still be available. It isn't going to happen like that though."