Belfast Telegraph

QPR big spenders as Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cissé join

Saha completes move to White Hart Lane after departure of Pavlyuchenko

By Martin Hardy

Bobby Zamora was last night on the verge of completing a £5m cross-West London switch from Fulham to big-spending Queen's Park Rangers. That fee could rise to around £6m with add-ons as Mark Hughes gave a further show of the financial muscle at his new club.

QPR's vice-chairman, Amit Bhatia, personally oversaw the deal to tie up the 31-year-old's move to Fulham's Premier League rivals late last night. Zamora's move would improve the £50,000-a-week deal he signed at Craven Cottage in 2011 and form a new strike partnership with Djibril Cissé, who completed his own move to Loftus Road for £4m. The former Liverpool forward, who arrived from Lazio, signed a two-and-a-half-year deal as QPR backed up their promises to Hughes with big-name signings.

For Zamora, the transfer potentially ends a difficult period in his Fulham career and a stormy relationship with Martin Jol, who took over at the club in the summer. The pair had differing beliefs of when Zamora should be rested and the player hopes a switch to Loftus Road will significantly improve his chances of re-establishing himself in Fabio Capello's plans ahead of the European Championship this summer.

Zamora was even forced to train with the club's reserves at one point during the season and attracted interest from several Premier League clubs. QPR however had the finance up front to fight off the competition.

Fulham in turn have raided the German Bundesliga to land the Stuttgart striker Pavel Progrebnyak as a direct replacement.

Zamora's switch to Fulham was the biggest piece of business on the final day of the transfer window. Unlike last year, when Chelsea and Liverpool spent £85m between them on two players in Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres, there was a clear sense of relative financial calm.

Indeed, the biggest surprise was the deadline-day swoop from Tottenham Hotspur for the Everton striker Louis Saha. The 33-year-old's contract at Goodison Park was due to run out at the end of the season and after Everton finally completed the £5m signing of Rangers' forward Nikica Jelavic on a four-and-a-half-year contract Saha was deemed surplus to requirements.

The Spurs manager, Harry Redknapp, wanted back-up striking options with Roman Pavlyuchenko ending an unhappy season at White Hart Lane by agreeing to move to Lokomotiv Moscow. That left him light of cover and David Moyes was happy to let Saha, now 33, leave for his fourth English side.

Bolton swooped to land the much-fancied Watford forward Marvin Sordell for £4m. The England Under-21s striker had been pulled out of last night's 2-0 Championship victory at Millwall in order to complete the deal. Owen Coyle had been eager to add offensive options to his side, and had been knocked back in a bid for Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha. He also failed in a £6m bid for Middlesbrough's Rhys Williams.

Manchester United's young midfielder Ravel Morrison completed his £1m move to West Ham United and the Premier League champions replaced a youngster with the Swiss under-20s international Frederic Veseli, who moved from rivals Manchester City.

Chelsea also confirmed the £9m signing of Kevin de Bruyne, although the winger has been loaned back to Genk until the end of the season.

The new Sunderland manager, Martin O'Neill, made two loan signings on the last day of business. The former Liverpool centre-half Sotirios Kyrgiakos has moved from VFL Wolfsburg on a six-month loan and Wayne Bridge has moved to the Stadium of Light until the end of the season from Manchester City.

City themselves completed the signing of David Pizarro from Roma on a free transfer. The 32-year-old is expected to be used as a defensive midfielder and the decision to take on such a veteran, does not augur well for Owen Hargreaves' return as a front-line City player.

Belfast Telegraph


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