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QPR Signs Samba for $20 Million
Guardian, January 31st, 2013 1:21PM

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TAGS:  england, mls, russia, toronto fc

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Queens Park Rangers has made its second major signing of the January transfer window, completing the $20 million capture of Christopher Samba from Russian giant Anzhi Makhachkala. The 28-year-old defender signed a four-and-a-half year deal at Loftus Road. The former Blackburn Rovers star is seen as a replacement for Ryan Nelson, who heads for Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC as its new head coach tomorrow.

"This is an unbelievable signing,” ecstatic QPR coach Harry Redknapp said. “[QPR Owner] Tony Fernandes deserves a lot of credit for this one – he has worked so hard on bringing him in ... Chris is just what we need. He's a monster. Great in the air, quick, a leader, strong, fantastic in both boxes, hard as nails. He's a proper center-half [central defender]."

Not everyone is happy with the move: Anzhi Makhachkala coach Guus Hiddink criticized Samba for the way he handled the transfer. “He (Samba) started the preseason training with us but in recent days he began to contact England despite the fact that he is still under contract with Anzhi,” Hiddink said. "I'm really upset with this situation as Samba departed even without saying goodbye to anyone of us. Whatever is going on, I believe, you should never ignore people with whom you were working side by side." Samba had only joined Anzhi last summer after former club Blackburn Rovers was relegated from the English Premier League.

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