QPR transfer news: Harry Redknapp targets Leroy Fer and new striker after defeat to Hull City
Rangers missed a penalty at Loftus Road as they tried to draw level on their return to the Premier League
Leroy Fer from Norwich City is only the first of three players Harry Redknapp expects to secure for Queen’s Park Rangers this week or next. Central midfield, where the 24-year-old Dutchman appeared at the World Cup this summer, is the area in which Redknapp feels his newly promoted side is most short of numbers.
“I’ve got three on my books – Joey [Barton], Ally Faurlin and Karl Henry,” he said after Saturday’s unfortunate 1-0 home defeat by Hull City. “You need five or six at any level really. So hopefully we’re going to get them and maybe another front man as well.”
Rangers want to play two out-and-out forwards, which is seen as one of the benefits of a 3-4-1-2 formation. The concern is that Loïc Rémy could leave at any time in the next fortnight for a set release fee. Turned down by Liverpool for apparently failing a medical, the Frenchman played a full 90 minutes against Hull and Rangers worry that he could suddenly leave right at the end of the window, leaving them no time to secure a replacement.
“We need one more [striker] but if he goes, we’re going to have to find a couple from somewhere, which isn’t easy,” Redknapp said.
Leroy Fer celebrates after scoring against Chile at the World Cup
The extravagantly paid Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar is off Rangers’ wage bill after agreeing to join Benfica.
Barton, appointed captain despite the arrival of Rio Ferdinand, feels that despite Saturday’s defeat – after Charlie Austin had a disputed late penalty saved by Allan McGregor – the Rangers squad are more together than in their fractious last Premier League venture two years ago.
“There’s a line that’s drawn under it from the football club,” Barton said. “As a playing staff we don’t really have any of the characters the fans fell out with or people didn’t like – the kind of mercenary figures, the accusations that those players were abundant in the dressing room. We’re confident the manager will bring the right kind of players in –he’s got a track record of doing it – and then it’s our job to gel as a team.”
As with any club which wins promotion through the play-offs, Rangers were a couple of weeks behind everyone else in their planning.
Redknapp, never shy of revamping a squad, insisted: “We’ve not gone mad, have we? I’ve only bought four players. We let eight loan players go that were here last year. We’ve brought some good players in, who will make a big difference to us but we certainly need another couple.”
The same applies to Hull, whose manager Steve Bruce admits to seeking a replacement for Shane Long, who was allowed to leave once Southampton offered a £5m profit on a player signed only seven months ago. Worse, new signing Robert Snodgrass may have sustained knee ligament damage on Saturday.
Bruce will risk losing in the Europa League away to Lokeren in Thursday’s final qualifying round by fielding almost a complete second string, which some will feel is a pity.
As James Chester said after eluding his old Manchester United mentor Ferdinand to head the winner: “There aren’t too many of us who have played European football before. Growing up at United, you see the first team playing in the league at the weekend and then going away in Europe during the week and it’s like being a proper footballer. They’re games we all enjoy playing in.”
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