Redknapp: Rio had other offers
Published 18/07/2014 | 13:38
Harry Redknapp has revealed Rio Ferdinand showed a desire to join QPR despite offers from 'two big London clubs'.
The 35-year-old signed a one-year deal at Loftus Road on Thursday and trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Friday morning.
Ferdinand won six Barclays Premier League titles during a successful spell at Manchester United but found himself a free agent when his last contract expired at Old Trafford.
The move to Rangers not only sees Ferdinand move back to the capital but also link up with Redknapp, the man who handed him his senior professional debut in 1996.
On signing his contract, Ferdinand expressed a passion for wanting to help keep newly-promoted Rangers in the top flight and Redknapp feels that, coupled with the turning down of bigger offers, proves the ex-England captain is up for the fight.
"I think he is going to be a fantastic player for the club," Redknapp said.
"He is a top-class guy. A great role model I think, I signed him as a 14-year-old so I know him better than anybody.
"He didn't need convincing (to join) - he wanted to come to QPR. He spoke to two top London clubs, but he wanted to come here and to play. He could have went elsewhere and maybe not played at times.
"I don't care what age they are - it's about staying in the Premier League. I took Rio - I'm not saying I'm going to sign all older players, but if they are good enough and can do the job.
"We are not going to spend fortunes. We will spend money on one or two players and pick up others on free transfers.
"We are not looking to splash loads of cash because we haven't got it. We want to make sure the people we bring in want to play for Queens Park Rangers, which Rio did. That was the key for me.
"He could have gone to Dubai or Qatar and earned a fortune. His wage demands were so incredibly low in my impression. It was an easy deal to do."
Redknapp admitted he spoke to former United interim manager Ryan Giggs to get his opinion on Ferdinand. Giggs replaced David Moyes at Old Trafford for the last four games of the season and picked Ferdinand for three of those fixtures.
"I spoke to Ryan, not that I had any doubt," he added.
"I just asked about how much training he did and Ryan said if he still had been his manager this year then he would have been his number one centre-half. When he took over last year the first thing he did was put Rio back in the team.
"He was fit all last season, but David came in and wanted to change the team around. He didn't pick him.
"We got his records from Man United and he was the fourth/fifth highest player, in terms of being available for training and playing.
"You will always get doubters and people who say 'he's had it' or 'he's finished'. I back my own judgement and opinion.
"I took Paul Merson to Portsmouth and he turned the club around. I brought Teddy Sheringham in and Sol Campbell from Arsenal when everybody said he was finished. He was as good a centre-half as anyone in the Premier League."
Redknapp again said he hopes to partner Ferdinand with Steven Caulker after having a bid accepted for the Cardiff skipper.
The 67-year-old is keen to add to his threadbare squad in the coming days but admitted there may still be roles for Loic Remy and Adel Taarabt at the club, even if both see their futures elsewhere.
"I'm not sure what Loic wants to do," he conceded.
"He will score goals and is a boy capable of getting 14-20 goals a year in the Premier League. We would like to keep him.
"He would really like to play Champions League football. If nothing comes along I'm sure he will come back and give us everything he's got to make it a successful season.
"Adel would like to go back to Milan possibly, but if they don't pay the money he will stay here"