Queens Park Rangers have signed Anzhi Makhachkala defender Christopher Samba.
The 28-year-old Congolese defender has penned a four-and-a-half year deal in west London, after the Rs agreed an undisclosed club record fee with the Russian side for the player’s signature.
The deal is subject to the player receiving international clearance.
Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has moved quickly to fill the void left by the departing Ryan Nelsen by adding the former Blackburn centre-back, who has 26 international caps to his name – to his squad.
Redknapp told www.qpr.co.uk: “This is an unbelievable signing. “Tony Fernandes deserves a lot of credit for this one – he has worked so hard on bringing him in. I was speaking with him a month ago and he asked me who I would want to sign if Ryan Nelsen left, he asked me to give him a couple of names.
“I said to him, ‘Well, these aren’t possible to get but if you’re asking me who I’d have, I’ll give you a couple of players.’ One of them was Chris Samba.
“The next thing I know he’s telling me that he’s working on bringing him in! It’s amazing.
“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 centre-half.”
Samba said: “I’m delighted to be back in the Premier League. It’s the best league in the world to play football. I’ve been linked with the club for a long time.
“With Harry here though, he is really passionate and he wants to do something with the club.
“Unfortunately things haven’t gone the way the club would have wanted so far this season but there’s still a lot of time and I’m sure we can get out of it.”
He added: “I know what is going on with the project here. There is a very important fan base, I’ve played at Loftus Road before and it’s fantastic.
“The club is ambitious and I’m sure it’s a good challenge for me. If I can be a part of it I will be very proud, it will be a great achievement for me.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe we could get out of trouble.”
Samba will wear the number 5 shirt at Loftus Road.