QPR chairman could block Ferdinand move

Rio Ferdinand’s move to QPR is in doubt, with chairman Tony Fernandes reluctant to sanction the signing.

Manager Harry Redknapp wants at least one centre-back this summer and is looking to bring in the former Manchester United defender.

A deal was agreed in principle but Fernandes has misgivings as he is keen for Rangers to sign younger players.

Offers have been made for Cardiff City’s Steven Caulker, 22, and 20-year-old Nottingham Forest prospect Jamaal Lascelles.

Aware that many fans believe relegation the season before last was caused largely by former Rangers manager Mark Hughes’ transfer dealings, Fernandes is keen to convince them that lessons have been learned.

Harry Redknapp, QPR manager
Redknapp has long been keen to sign Ferdinand.

Signing Ferdinand, 35, would seemingly fly in the face of that message, but Redknapp is convinced the ex-England star would make a valuable contribution following his departure from United.

Redknapp has been at odds with the R’s hierarchy on previous occasions.

A year ago they blocked his proposed signing of former England left-back Wayne Bridge and last season he had to convince them to sanction a deal for Yossi Benayoun.

Fernandes has also claimed that he expressed misgivings about some of the signings made during the ill-fated Hughes era.

Currently working as a pundit for the BBC at the World Cup in Brazil, Ferdinand made 455 appearances for United during a 12-year spell at Old Trafford during which he won six Premier League titles, two League Cups and the Champions League.

Steven Caulker is wanted by QPR
Steven Caulker is wanted by Rangers, as is Jamaal Lascelles.

Ferdinand, cousin of Rangers legend Les Ferdinand and whose brother Anton also had a spell at Loftus Road, won 81 England caps and played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

He played under Redknapp at West Ham prior to an £18m move to Leeds in 2000.

Redknapp planned to sign him this summer if Rangers won promotion back to the top flight and their play-off triumph duly paved the way for a deal to be discussed.

Ferdinand, who was on QPR’s books as a schoolboy, was troubled by injuries towards the end of his time at United but last month Redknapp told West London Sport he believed he still had plenty to offer.

“He would be a fantastic free transfer for somebody,” Redknapp said.

“He’s a fantastic player and still has a lot to offer. He’s had his injuries and it’s whether he stays fit. If he fit’s he’s a top, top player.”

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