QPR chairman Tony Fernandes opens his wallet wide for Chris Samba the 'monster'
Redknapp delighted to bring in defender but Odemwingie move collapses in farce
Thursday 31 January 2013
The Queen’s Park Rangers manager, Harry Redknapp, thanked the club’s chairman, Tony Fernandes, for putting up the money to sign Christopher Samba from Anzhi Makhachkala.
"This is an unbelievable signing," said Redknapp after the 28-year-old defender signed for a club-record fee thought to be £12.5m. "Tony Fernandes deserves a lot of credit for this one – he has worked so hard on bringing him in."
A busy transfer deadline day at Loftus Road ended in farce when Peter Odemwingie was caught in confusion after heading down to QPR despite not being given permission by West Bromwich Albion.
The striker had been vocal about his desire to leave the Hawthorns during the January transfer window. There were talks between the clubs in the afternoon, involving Junior Hoilett as a potential makeweight, but there was no deal.
Odemwingie, though, headed to west London regardless, much to Albion's consternation. Rangers insisted that Odemwingie had not been allowed to enter Loftus Road all evening.
"I think he probably felt that the deal had been agreed between the clubs and it hadn't and it was all a mix-up really," Redknapp said
"I feel sorry for the lad and the way the whole thing's turned out. It wasn't any of our doing. I think he was maybe advised that he should turn up here and that the club had made an offer and the offer had been accepted. The wires got crossed somewhere."
Redknapp went back to Tottenham Hotspur to take two players to Rangers late in the day, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas.
Jenas, who had been on loan at Nottingham Forest earlier this season, joins Rangers on a permanent 18-month deal having struggled for regular football in recent seasons.
Making the same move from Spurs to Rangers is 21-year-old winger Townsend. Redknapp said that Townsend, who he will have on loan until the end of the season, was "a kid with a fantastic future".
QPR's defence has been poor all season and, with Ryan Nelsen and Anton Ferdinand departing to Toronto and Turkey respectively, they were in desperate need of an upgrade. But Redknapp was thrilled with the purchase of Samba as he tries to keep Rangers in the Premier League. "I was speaking with [Fernandes] a month ago and he asked me who I would want to sign if Ryan Nelsen left, he asked me to give him a couple of names.
"I said to him, 'Well, these aren't possible to get but if you're asking me who I'd have, I'll give you a couple of players.' One of them was Chris Samba. The next thing I know he's telling me that he's working on bringing him in! It's amazing."
Redknapp believes Samba has precisely the right skill-set to keep the clean sheets Rangers need to survive. "Chris is just what we need. He's a monster," Redknapp said. "Great in the air, quick, a leader, strong, fantastic in both boxes, hard as nails. He's a proper centre-half."
"I'm delighted to be back in the Premier League," Samba said. "It's the best league in the world to play football." Samba is thought to have signed a deal worth £100,000 per week for four and a half years. He is the second major addition QPR made last month, after Loïc Rémy signed from Marseilles for roughly £8m on another lucrative long-term contract.
Redknapp has also signed two other defenders, Yun Suk-young and Tal Ben Haim. The QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin has joined Palermo on loan for the rest of the season.
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