West London Sport - Remy completes medical and is joining QPR
MAIL - RALPH ELLIS
Use us as stepping stone to Manchester United! How Harry convinced M'Vila to join QPR
Harry Redknapp convinced Yann M'Vila to join Queens Park Rangers by telling him it was the quickest route to Manchester United.
Hoops boss Redknapp expects to complete the £7million deal in time for the 22-year-old midfielder to play at West Ham on Saturday.
But asked how he had persuaded one of Europe's most sought after young talents to leave Rennes and join a relegation fight, he said: 'I just made him feel he was wanted, that is the key.
'I told him that he would come here and be a good player, and if he does well, if we stay up, in 18 months he could get a move to Manchester United, or Arsenal, or Chelsea, if that is what he is looking for.
'In the meantime he could come here and we put him on the stage and show what he can do.
'If we can build a team then hopefully he will stay with us. If not he will put himself on the stage for bigger things.'
On the up: Harry Redknapp saw QPR beat West Brom in the FA Cup on Tuesday
On the up: Harry Redknapp saw QPR beat West Brom in the FA Cup on Tuesday
M'Vila has 22 caps for France and was part of their Euro 2012 squad but he is serving a two-year ban from international duty after he and four other players in the Under 21 squad went on an unauthorised night out in November.
Redknapp said: 'He is a top, proper footballer. He can play. He controls the game, he can pass the ball, he is strong.
'He's had a few problems off the field but he is only young. If he behaves himself and comes and plays for us as he is able to then he will be a great asset.' Mail
What now for Newcastle and Alan Pardew after Rémy takes French leave?
Magpies' latest attempt to recruit from across the Channel has backfired, leaving the manager desperate to land a striker as well as a wise old-head
After seeing his QPR team lose at Newcastle only last month, Harry Redknapp launched into a rant against overpaid footballers and the game's skewed economics. "St James' Park holds 52,000 but Loftus Road holds 18,000. You shouldn't be playing players massive wages when you only have 18,000 seats," said the new Rangers manager as he pledged not to "screw over" the owners by "overpaying" any more "average" players.
Fast forward a few weeks and the man who might have been England coach is preparing to welcome Loïc Rémy to QPR from Marseille after staging a successful, last-minute ambush of the France striker's move to Newcastle. Newcastle had agreed an £8m fee with Marseille and Rémy had told friends – Joey Barton included – that his move to Alan Pardew's team was all but done and dusted but then, when airport check-in staff labelled his luggage as he departed France, they printed out stickers with LHR for London Heathrow rather than NCL for Newcastle.
A late change of planes and plan prefaced by calls from his agent signalled that a basic wage of around £75,000 a week at QPR – quite possibly approaching double Newcastle's offer – and a guaranteed departure from Loftus Road for a minimal transfer fee in the summer should Redknapp's side be relegated, had turned Rémy's head.
In what constituted a major blow for Pardew, arrangements for a medical followed by an "unveiling" in Newcastle were placed on tentative hold, then cancelled. Only time will tell whether Rémy will rescue QPR from relegation thereby justifying the high-stakes gamble Redknapp has clearly persuaded Tony Fernandes, the QPR owner, to risk yet more money on. "It was a choice between money and footballing ambition," said a Newcastle source.
While Pardew's team are on an awful run and by no means safe from relegation themselves, that comment is no exaggeration. Rémy had a choice of running out in front of 52,000 fans every home game at a club who finished fifth in the Premier League last season and are still in this season's Europa League or joining one that attracts much smaller attendances and is facing a more serious battle to stay in the top flight.
Perhaps, then, it was not such a bad thing for Newcastle and Pardew as they struggle to find a successor to Demba Ba capable of gelling with Papiss Cissé. Ba may have had a suspect left knee – and it was interesting to hear Rafael Benítez say this week that concerns over its condition dictate that Ba will be rotated – but the Senegal striker rarely stopped scoring.
In contrast Rémy has scored only one goal for Marseille this season, after being used largely as a substitute. Although he scored 12 times for the French club last season and 15 times the one before that, it appears that a fall-out with the club's management did little for either his fitness or final touch. After such a poor autumn and early winter, can he really hit the ground running in west London?
That said, Newcastle's scouting system, led by Graham Carr, has proved consistently strong. Pardew's recent problems have been largely about the extreme slenderness of a squad ravaged by injuries to players including Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa.
The overwhelming odds are that Ba's successor – not to mention one or two much-needed defensive reinforcements – will be found in France but the presence of seven French-speaking players – five of whom could be described as first choices – in Pardew's first-team squad is starting to cause some disquiet among fans. Suddenly St James' Park season ticket holders are worried about dressing-room cliques and the absence of the much-vaunted "British core" even Arsène Wenger now seems keen on restoring to Arsenal.
Nagging worries about suggestions of fault lines developing between Newcastle's French and Spanish speakers, and the sense that locals boys such as Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor an in peril of becoming an endangered species, will hold little sway, though. Finance dictates that Mike Ashley, Newcastle's owner, will remain unmoved. Pardew likes James Tomkins, the young West Ham centre-half, but he would cost £10m and an equivalent defender could be purchased for a third of the price and smaller salary in France.
It is for this reason that Derek Llambias and other key Newcastle figures have adopted the W hotel in Paris as a base for entertaining the representatives of potential new signings aged 26 and under – experience is much less important to Ashley than a decent sell-on value – and why last Saturday a headline in l'Equipe read "France: A discount supermarket for Newcastle United".
A charm offensive which has seen French media representatives welcomed warmly to Tyneside, where Newcastle's press team even greet them with "Bonjours", and imported players offered every available assistance including specially cooked meals in the training ground canteen has paid off. Newcastle's stock is high in France, with the team's performances shown on weekly TV, along with those of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
The problem is that many of those displays this season have been so poor that French players now appear to be having second thoughts about their agents being charmed at a Paris hotel. And if that is not the case, their club's boards of directors suddenly feel determined not to be treated like a discount supermarket for Ashley and his team of bargain hunters.
It seems that the Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be Pardew's new target but St Etienne are displaying an enthusiasm for playing hardball. Perhaps Aubameyang will be told he can return to France for medical treatment if he gets injured. Ben Arfa is Newcastle's best player and a sometimes tricky personality, but the fact he is spending several weeks undergoing rehabilitation at Clairefontaine, near Paris, rather than under the auspices of Newcastle's own highly skilled medical team begs all sorts of questions.
At a time when Fabricio Coloccini, the club captain, has announced that personal difficulties have made him determined to depart for Argentina as soon as possible – something Pardew is endeavouring to talk him out of – maybe the moment is right to make an exception to the broadly sensible policy of buying under-26s.
As Steven Gerrard told my colleague Andy Hunter last week, he and Liverpool benefited immeasurably from playing alongside the ageing but still acute Gary McAllister a few years ago.
Newcastle clearly need at least one new striker and at least one new defender but Pardew, you suspect, is also crying out for an experienced old head who can provide on-field nous and off-field clout. Frank Lampard would clearly be too expensive but Newcastle really could do with making that sort of signing.
Pardew has done a very good job but right now what he arguably most requires is a McAllister to help him raise the bar. Meanwhile, only time will tell whether Rémy is the answer to Redknapp's prayers. Guardian
Rob Hughes/New York Times
Queens Park Takes a Huge Risk for a Huge Payoff
Published: January 15, 2013
LONDON — The January sales around European soccer resemble the scene inside a high-rolling casino, but with human chips, instead of plastic ones, thrown at the spinning wheel.
Loïc Rémy will leave Marseille for Queens Park Rangers, currently at the bottom of the English Premier League standings.
The Times's soccer blog has the world's game covered from all angles.
Go to the Goal Blog
Two weeks go by. The big gamblers eye one another without making their big play. Then desperation spurs one club to go for broke.
On Monday night, the London club Queens Park Rangers, owned by a Malaysian airline entrepreneur and with input from one of India’s richest families, was in negotiations with at least four players.
The Rangers’ new team manager, that old wheeler-dealer Harry Redknapp, was flying the Channel between England and France. On Sunday, he was bidding to buy the powerful Rennes midfield man, Yann M’Vila. On Monday, Rangers was hijacking what was thought to have been a done deal between Olympique de Marseille and Newcastle United for the striker Loïc Rémy.
By Tuesday, he was in the English Midlands, where Q.P.R. had an F.A. Cup replay against West Bromwich Albion and where Redknapp was hoping to persuade two from West Brom — winger Peter Odemwingie and the towering defender Jonas Olsson — to switch teams.
A few days before all of this, Redknapp was blandly denying that he had any irons in the fire. “We’ve tried a few things, but I don’t know what’s happening in the market,” he said. “That’s down to the chief executive.”
And that’s Harry. The 65-year-old East Londoner comes to life in the January market. He is known as Houdini Harry for his expertise at guiding teams as they save themselves in relegation dogfights, but to do that, he first has to persuade club owners to speculate and spend on the players he feels can “do the business.” It is hair-raising stuff. Tony Fernandes, the Malaysian business high flier who is Rangers’ chief shareholder, fired the team’s coach, Mark Hughes, to give his job to Redknapp a month before Christmas.
The team, already expensive, was scraping along at the bottom of the Premier League. It still is, but a victory at Chelsea and a draw last Saturday against Redknapp’s former team, Tottenham Hotspur, gave a glimmer of hope that the forlorn bunch of misfits at Q.P.R. were responding to the new manager’s motivation.
But how does it do it? The bulk of Redknapp’s talking around players is to tell them he sees greatness in their shoes. They have it in them, if only they would work at it, to be world beaters, never mind just survivors in the big league.
Whether he believes it does not matter; what matters is that they do.
Meantime, he persuades the owners — Fernandes and the family of Lakshmi Mittal — that the talent on their payroll is simply not good enough. They must throw more chips, millions more, at the wheel or they are lost.
And it’s a gamble worth making, because last summer the English Premier League hugely increased its income when new television deals were signed. For the three seasons starting this coming September, after a new televisions partner, BT, chipped in £738 million, or $1.19 billion, and Sky and ESPN increased their existing contracts, there will be more than double the money on the table for the 20 teams that share out the Premiership pool.
The deals now are worth a combined package in excess of £3 billion. The pot keeps rising, in spite of economic conditions.
England has the game the world wants to watch on television, and staying in that league of 20 is the difference between high finance and potential ruin.
The owners know it. The players know it. The agents who move those players around flock to it like bees to nectar. And of course, clubs in other leagues, lesser leagues in financial terms, succumb to it.
Marseille’s sporting director, effectively its deal maker José Anigo, said on French television on Monday: “Loïc Rémy is somewhere in England. We at O.M. reached agreement with Newcastle, but we also talked with other English clubs
The price, thought to be about £8 million, was agreed on last weekend. But Q.P.R. could not only match that transfer fee to Marseille, it is rumored to be doubling the offer of £40,000 per week that Newcastle put on the table for Rémy.
The Times's soccer blog has the world's game covered from all angles.
Go to the Goal Blog
But why, reporters asked, would a French international take the gamble of joining a team marooned at the bottom of the standings? Simple: His agent negotiates an out clause. He will play his heart out for the Rangers between now and May, but if it is not enough, if the club goes down, he gets to leave for the next highest bidder.
There are huge questions in all of this. Will Rémy, a striker who blows hot and cold in his native France, adapt at once to the English league? Will he link up with Q.P.R.’s gifted, but erratic, Moroccan playmaker, Adel Taarabt? Ditto M’Vila, who is admired for his midfield force but was once called a loose cannon by his coach at Rennes, and who was banned from the French national team after partying while on duty with the squad.
Many clubs have looked covetously at both Rémy and M’Vila. They have scoured the backgrounds that took M’vila, the son of a Congo player, from Picardy, near Amiens, France, to Stade Rennes.
Rémy, too, was lifted by his skills with a ball after starting off life in Lyon. His talent was honed at the academy of the local club, Olympique Lyonnais, and it later took him to Marseille, which took a chance on him after discovering in a medical examination before the deal that he had a heart abnormality.
Now, subject to similar medical processes that accompany all soccer transfers at this level, M’Vila and Rémy are expected to join the dogfight with Q.P.R.
So, if the money is right, might Odemwingie and Olsson.
Odemwingie was born in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan; opted to represent Nigeria at the international level; and married in England. Olsson is Swedish, loves to play the guitar and intends to resume his studies to be a human rights lawyer when he finishes playing.
It is quite a midseason gamble on players who have caught the eye of Q.P.R.’s Mr. Houdini. New York Times
Clarke: It was a game too far
Subs not used: Murphy, Ephraim, Ehmer, Hulse. West London Sport
Guardian - Jay Bothroyd brings QPR victory at West Bromwich Albion in FA Cup
|West Bromwich Albion 0|
Rémy, who was a target for Newcastle United, passed a medical after agreeing personal terms and is expected to make his debut at West Ham United on Saturday. The deal with M'Vila is also at an advanced stage and, although a medical has yet to take place, Redknapp spoke as if it were a formality that the highly rated 22-year-old would sign. The arrival of two France internationals, for a combined £15m, represents quite a coup for QPR and is a major statement of intent in their battle to pull clear from the foot of the table and avoid relegation.
Redknapp, who praised the QPR chairman and owner, Tony Fernandes, for his backing in the transfer market, suggested there would be at least two more new faces arriving before the window closes. He is confident that an agreement will be reached with Tottenham to allow the central midfielder Jake Livermore to join on loan for the remainder of the season and said there were other "irons in the fire".
Rémy, who has 17 international caps, should provide QPR with a reliable a goal threat and will pave the way for Djibril Cissé, who was withdrawn at half-time here, to depart. "Rémy's OK, he's had a medical today, no problems," Redknapp said. "I watched him so many times when I was at Tottenham and tried to sign him last year. I went over to France to meet him and he was a player who looked like he might come to Tottenham at one time – the fee then was around about £20m. He's a good buy for us at the money we've paid.
"He's quick, makes great runs, he's a French international and his movement is excellent. He's got the potential to be a real outstanding striker. I didn't think we'd get him.
"I gave up really. The chairman did it, not me. I went over to Marseille last week and [Rémy] wasn't keen. I did speak to him about a couple of the players we were looking to bring in and I think he was excited about that. And then the chairman really worked ever so hard. Tony Fernandes wouldn't give up on it."
M'Vila, who has been courted by leading clubs in the Premier League, is also a player Redknapp tried to bring to Spurs. "Hopefully it will be done. We've met him and the deal looks OK," said Redknapp, who claimed that he was unaware whether the players had exit clauses in their contracts should QPR get relegated.
"M'Vila played against England at Wembley, when France beat England two seasons ago and was fantastic. They turned down £28m for him from an English club just under a year ago. He's a proper footballer, he can play, control the game, pass the ball, he's strong.
"He's had a few problems off the field but he's only 22. If he behaves himself and he comes and plays as he can, he'll be a great investment for the club. Spurs offered £15m for him in August and that got turned down."
Redknapp suggested that QPR would not be pursing their interest in Peter Odemwingie and Jonas Olsson, which was just about the only good news for Albion at the end of a bitterly cold evening when only 11,184 turned up to watch a dismal match where entertainment was in short supply. Steve Clarke, the Albion manager, was being polite when he described it as "a game without a spark".
Bothroyd belatedly brought the match to life when he marked his first QPR start of the season – he was loaned to Sheffield Wednesday during the first half of the campaign – with a towering header, in the 75th minute, from Alejandro Faurlín's corner to secure a fourth-round home tie against Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday week.
Albion rallied in the closing stages but were unable to find a way past the excellent Robert Green. The QPR goalkeeper had made a superb one-handed stop to deny Romelu Lukaku in the first half and produced further fine saves to thwart Markus Rosenberg and Graham Dorrans as Albion pressed for the equalised that never came.
"It was disappointing," said Clarke, whose side have won two out of their past 11 matches. "We went to sleep on a set play and you get punished for that at this level." GUardian