Mark Hughes arrives at QPR for talks over vacant position

 

Mark Hughes stands on the brink of becoming the next manager of QPR after today arriving at Loftus Road to discuss the vacancy.

Former Wales, Manchester City, Blackburn and Fulham boss Hughes was partnered by advisor Kia Joorabchian as QPR look to move swiftly to replace Neil Warnock following his sacking last night.

It is understood owner Tony Fernandes will lead the talks, despite announcing earlier today he was due to fly out to China for a vital business meeting regarding his AirAsia airline.

Rangers chief executive Philip Beard earlier today vowed the club would act "very quickly" to bring in a new boss following Warnock's departure after 22 months in charge.

A run of eight Barclays Premier League matches without a win, in which QPR mustered just two points, cost Warnock his job, leaving the club in 17th, one point above the relegation zone.

The 2-2 FA Cup third-round draw at League One MK Dons on Saturday, in which QPR grabbed a last-gasp equaliser proved to be the final straw for Fernandes.

Although the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Rafael Benitez, Roberto di Matteo, Sven Goran Eriksson and Steve Bruce have been linked with the position, Hughes has been the leading candidate from the off.

In arriving at the club with Joorabchian around 3pm, it now appears a matter of the Welshman simply agreeing terms.

Speaking earlier today, Beard told Sky Sports News: "I think we've some people at the club who can help us in the very, very short term, but we'll try and move very quickly and get things sorted.

"We've some very big games coming up, not least Newcastle on Sunday and then an interesting (FA) Cup replay, with hopefully another game against Chelsea in the fourth round if we can get through the next one.

"This is a project about building for the short, medium and long term, and our intention - very strongly - is to do everything possible to stay in the Premier League this season.

"Then to build and grow the club so we can fulfil some of the ambitions, not just for the people behind the club, but more importantly than anybody, the people who support the club."

One of the reasons behind Fernandes' fast thinking is not only the forthcoming games, but also to give Hughes as much time as possible to act in the transfer market.

It is understood a sizeable kitty is available, with QPR already having had a bid of £5million rejected by Blackburn last week for defender Chris Samba.

Beard added: "We're already moving into the second week of January.

"The reality is there are some funds there and we've got to make the right purchases. It's a tricky month to try and make things happen.

"But our appetite is to bring one or two players in, if we can, to strengthen the squad, and the new manager will be part of that as soon as we can identify him and spend time looking at some of our targets."

PA

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