Loftus Road set for busy January.
Mark Hughes, and his adviser Kia Joorabchian, arrived at QPR yesterday to finalise the deal to succeed Neil Warnock who was sacked on Sunday. Hughes emerged from four hours of talks to state that he was “pleased” at how the discussions had gone but added that “nothing was confirmed”.
“I have to be clear in my mind that it is the right decision for me, There’s a will to get where we both feel comfortable,” the former Fulham manager said, adding that talks would resume today and that he was an “ambitious manager and hopeful [the] club will match the ambitions.”
If the talks succeed, Hughes is expected to bring his trusted backroom staff of Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock with him. Telegraph Sport revealed that Rangers owner Tony Fernandes had lost faith in Warnock’s ability to save the club from relegation and wanted to make a change before it was too late.
Bids have already been submitted for a number of players including Blackburn Rovers’ Christopher Samba. However Rangers face stiff competition for Samba, with Tottenham Hotspur expected to trump their offer of £5million by bidding £8million for the defender.
Rangers are already in talks with Chelsea defender Alex and have discussed a move for Manchester City’s Nedum Onuoha, who has also previously worked with Hughes.
It will be interesting to see whether Hughes makes a bid for City’s Nigel de Jong, although it may be difficult to persuade the Dutch international to join QPR.
These are indeed audacious transfer targets and one wonders whether the soon to be QPR manager Mark Hughes will be able to land them this month.
Clearly the West London club could well do with multiple additions to help steer the Loftus Road side away from the drop and chairman Tony Fernandes is willing to back Hughes with the funds but it may prove difficult to lure players to a side who have gone eight games without a win and are hovering ominously near the relegation zone.
Of the three perhaps Christopher Samba is the most likely to consider a move to QPR, after all they are three points better off than his Blackburn Rovers side but a lot would depend on Tottenham’s interest in the Congo international as well as Steve Kean’s willingness to sell a crucial player who has four and a half years to run on his current deal.
Chelsea defender Alex is on the Blues transfer list and clearly a move from Stamford Bridge to QPR would cause minimum disruption in terms of distance though interest from Spain and his former club PSV Eindhoven would probably trump a move to join the newly promoted side.
Perhaps the least likely of these moves is for Nigel De Jong. There is little or no chance that a player in a side challenging for the title, even if he is not a regular first team starter, would consider a move down the table and the basis for that rumour appears solely to reside in the fact that Hughes was of course the man who brought the Dutchman to Man City back in January 2009.