• Premier League

Samba in London to seal Rangers move

ESPN staff
January 30, 2013
Queens Park Rangers will look for Christopher Samba to stand tall in their battle against relegation © PA Photos

Queens Park Rangers look to have finally secured the central defender that manager Harry Redknapp has so badly sought, with Anzhi Makhachkala boss Guus Hiddink confirming Christopher Samba is on his way to London.

Redknapp has made no secret of his desire to bring in new faces, he named two goalkeepers on the bench against Manchester City on Tuesday night. He confirmed his interest in Samba earlier in the week and the club have now tabled a bid that has triggered a £10 million release clause.

The former Blackburn Rovers player has already flown to London to have a medical and finalise negotiations, just a year after leaving England for the Russian league in a £12.3m move.

The lower fee is all the more galling for Anzhi manager Guus Hiddink, who confirmed the defender's departure to Russian newspaper, Sport Express.

"It's not a very good situation," Hiddink said. "Samba was with us during this season, began preparations for the winter training camps and suddenly this opportunity arose with an English club. Yesterday, he left for England. Unfortunately we didn't have a chance to say goodbye to him. Everything has developed very quickly."

Aiding the move is the impression that Samba has never been fully happy with Anzhi - particularly given some of the social issues around Russian football. Although the Congolese defender recently spoke of his joy at playing under Hiddink and with the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Roberto Carlos, he has been very vocal in his refusal to accept racist abuse at some Russian stadiums.

With Samba's former defensive partner at Blackburn, Ryan Nelsen, having played his last game for QPR in Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Manchester City before departing to manage Toronto FC, the transfer solves a long-standing problem for Redknapp.

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