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Luis Enrique: Copa lead key

Barcelona
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QPR close on Alex and Henrique

QPR remain in advanced negotiations with Chelsea defender Alex and Sao Paulo starlet Henrique, new manager Mark Hughes has confirmed.

• Henrique talks up QPR switch
• Chelsea: No Alex fee agreed

Alex, who has also been linked with Paris St Germain and Juventus, was banished from Chelsea's first-team squad in November after submitting a transfer request. The player, though, has stated his desire to return to Brazil, but Hughes still feels he can pursuade the 29-year-old to remain in the Premier League.

"The hope is that we can get number of the deals done," said Hughes. "Ideally that would be sooner rather than later but I can't tell you if that's going to happen anytime soon.

"I think talks [with Alex] are ongoing. I spoke to the boy yesterday and went through what we're trying to do here and my feelings towards him as a player. I have a huge regard for what he could do for us here. Things have to fall into place before you can get the player over the line. Until I get an update, that's as much as I know.

Meanwhile, the likelihood of Alex's compatriot Henrique making the move to England now appears increasingly realistic after the playmaker reportedly praised the playing career of Hughes on Monday, and expressed his interest in heading to London.

"[The Henrique transfer] seems to be progressing, we're hoping to conclude that," Hughes said. "He's the type of player it would be good to attract to the club if we can. Those are the type that can sustain you in the future so if we do those deals I think that will help us."

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