Tuesday 20 February 2018

Anelka top of Redknapp's list as QPR look to January sales

Jeremy Wilson

Harry Redknapp has talks scheduled this week with the owners of Queens Park Rangers, including chairman Tony Fernandes, to discuss the club's budget and targets for the January transfer window.

A proven striker is among Redknapp's priorities next month, with Nicolas Anelka, who is in talks with Chinese club Shinghai Shenhua about leaving, and Demba Ba among the prospective targets.

Despite their first league win of the season against Fulham last Saturday, QPR are still five points adrift of safety and almost certainly running at a considerable operating profit due to the size of their wage bill. At their last published accounts, the club's wage to turnover ratio was 183pc.

It all means that QPR's decisions in the transfer window will be influenced by their results in the next fortnight and how realistic it will be for them to escape relegation.

Redknapp has openly questioned the wisdom of adding significantly in January if QPR are already cut adrift and the club end up overloading the squad ahead of a return to the Championship.

Recent results, however, are likely to have provided enough reason for the QPR owners to think that it is worth backing Redknapp with further investment in January.

Darren Bent and Joe Cole, who have been out of favour at Aston Villa and Liverpool respectively, are other potential targets. The overall budget is expected to be in the region of £10m.

Redknapp is also expected to make a popular addition to the coaching staff this week with Les Ferdinand, the former QPR striker, likely to return as an attacking coach. Ferdinand is still known as 'Sir Les' at QPR for his eight successful years at Loftus Road.

Anelka, meanwhile, is in talks over leaving China and is believed to be keen on a move back to the Premier League. According to reports, Anelka has agreed to forgo the final year of his contract, worth $7m, as long as Shanghai allow him to leave on a free transfer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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