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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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QPR 'lost their minds' in Samba deal

Queens Park Rangers are "out of their minds" for signing defender Christopher Samba in a big-money deal from Anzhi Makhachkala last month, according to one of the Russian club's directors.

• Blog: Make-or-break spell for QPR

Congo international Samba moved to Loftus Road during the January transfer window just a year after he left Blackburn Rovers for Anzhi, with the Premier League's bottom side triggering the centre-back's £12.5 million release clause and offering him a four-and-a-half-year contract reported to be worth £100,000 a week.

The London club remain four points adrift at the foot of the table having drawn 0-0 at home with Norwich City and lost 4-1 at Swansea City in Samba's first two appearances for the club.

While QPR manager Harry Redknapp and owner Tony Fernandes judged the 28-year-old a valuable investment in their fight against relegation, Anzhi director German Tkachenko revealed that no one at the Dagestan-based club can believe they paid so much for him.

"At QPR he will earn almost as much as he did at Anzhi," Tkachenko told Russian news site sports.ru. "In my view QPR have lost their minds.

"When they agreed to pay his release fee we wept. He (Samba) wept.

"Everybody says that he ran away from the club, but that's not true. He didn't put any pressure on the club until we received an offer from QPR for £12.5 million, the amount required by his contract."

According to Tkachenko, Samba's main motivation for returning to western Europe was for family reasons, and the Anzhi director said that he would be missed at the club.

"It was linked to the threat that he would lose contact with his children," Tkachenko added. "That was a big blow.

"He was a guy who loved all of us. And besides, he is a very good defender. I think he is one of the top five defenders currently playing in Europe."

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