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Defensive reinforcements are priority for QPR survival bid

| 19.01.2012

Despite conceding just one goal in his two games at QPR, Mark Hughes appears to have prioritised the strengthening of his defence as he looks to steer his new charges clear of relegation danger.

Hughes has been linked with a host of defenders since taking over at Loftus Road, after being reportedly assured by owner Tony Fernandes that he has a substantial war chest to utilise.

The Rs have had a bid accepted for Chelsea’s Brazilian central defender Alex, but it is proving difficult to agree personal terms with the powerhouse, who would seemingly prefer a switch elsewhere in Europe after spending over four years in London.

Another player the Hoops have a confirmed interest in is giant Blackburn defender Chris Samba, with Hughes keen to reunite with the player he took to Ewood Park for a nominal fee in 2006.

QPR have already made two bids for Samba, believed to be in the region of £6m, but each has been flatly rejected by Rovers, who claim they will hold out for at least double that price for a man who has had two transfer requests rebuffed this month.

A final offer is now expected to emanate from Loftus Road, but as it is expected to be worth around £10m, it remains to be seen whether or not Blackburn will budge on their original valuation.

Nedum Onuoha is another option for Hughes, who favoured the versatile defender during his time in charge of Manchester City.

Onuoha has attracted interest from Sunderland, Aston Villa and Fulham among others, but the relationship he had with QPR’s new boss at Eastlands could set them apart from the crowd in the race for his signature.

The Englishman appears surplus to requirements at mega-rich City now, but QPR’s astronomical wage structure could see him earn even more in London, with an £80,000 a week contract being mooted as Hughes looks to spark a revolution at his new club.



John Klee