Premier League Transfer News: Mark Hughes Looking to Sign Alex and Samba

Michael DoyleContributor IIIJanuary 11, 2012

Mark Hughes being unveiled as the new QPR manager earlier today
Mark Hughes being unveiled as the new QPR manager earlier todayChristopher Lee/Getty Images

Earlier today, Mark Hughes was officially unveiled as the new manager of Queens Park Rangers at a press conference at Loftus Road, replacing the recently-sacked Neil Warnock. 

One of the main talking points of the unveiling was how Mark Hughes would spend the money offered by owner Tony Fernandes, who is apparently willing to support Hughes in the transfer market and wants to make signings sooner rather than later. 

With QPR leaking in goals having not kept a clean sheet since October, improving the defense is one of Hughes' priorities and he is likely to focus on this area of the field first. 

Hughes will probably begin with the signing of Alex, Chelsea's Brazilian defender who has fallen out of favor at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has reportedly accepted his transfer request and has left the 29-year-old to train with the reserves, as the likes of John Terry, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and expected new signing Gary Cahill are preferred choices at center-back. 

Because he is a surplus to requirements at Chelsea and was linked with QPR while Warnock was still manager, it is likely that he will move across West London sooner rather than later.

Hughes is also reported to be interested in Blackburn defender Christopher Samba, who both worked together when Hughes was Blackburn manager. 

Since moving to Blackburn from Hertha Berlin in 2007, Samba has established himself as one of the best center-backs in the Premier League. Blackburn have pushed towards the European places while Hughes was manager there, and are pushing towards the top-half under Sam Allardyce. 

But with Blackburn struggling under Steve Kean and currently lying at the bottom of the Premier League, the 27-year-old has been linked with a move away from Ewood Park.

The only problem QPR have with trying to sign Samba is that there is more interest in him from clubs across the Premier League and abroad, with Tottenham and Paris St-Germain reported to be interested in the defender.  

Although buying defenders isn't the only concern for the Rangers during this transfer window. Because they lack depth up front and midfielder Alejandro Faurlin has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury, defense is probably one of the most important areas of the field for Hughes to fix, and signing one or both of these defenders is key to improving the side.