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May 3, 2013

Fernandes urges Samba to stay

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has urged defender Christopher Samba to stay at Loftus Road and lead his side's charge back into the Premier League next season.

• Samba: I wasn't well prepared
• Granero will not seek transfer

Samba, 29, joined QPR in a lucrative move from Anzhi Makachkala in January but has been tipped to leave the club after last week's 0-0 draw at Reading relegated Rangers to the Championship.

But Fernandes believes the former Blackburn centre-half will remain at QPR and is hopeful of building a title-winning side around the Congo international next season.

"I think it's very real [that Samba will stay]," Fernandes said. "I haven't had a chance to speak to Chris since (relegation) and I think Harry is sitting down with him tomorrow. We want players who want to play for us.

"I think the days of bringing in players because of their reputation, their name and they're just coming to QPR for the salary are gone. We want to have players who want to play for us, who are excited by walking down that tunnel and going to play for us.

"We're under no pressure now to just keep players so if Chris wants to stay with us, if he believes in what the club can do, then I'd love him to be one of the pivotal points of the Championship side.

"But if he doesn't feel that this is right for him then I don't want to force him to stay and I'd rather get someone who gets excited going out there. But Chris would be a tower in the Championship and it would be fantastic to build a team around him."

Fernandes swiftly played down rumours that Samba is on a £100,000-a-week salary at Rangers, which would make holding onto him in the Champoinship even more difficult, claiming the maximum wage is £65,000 per week.

"I can't say it in enough languages and enough times that I did the deal, no-one else," he said. "And he [Samba] took a pay cut to come to QPR and that is fact. There is no £100,000 salary. I said on national TV today, our top salary was 65 (thousand). Chris took a pay cut."

France attacker Loic Remy's contract at QPR included a relegation clause when he completed a mid-season move to the Premier League from Marseille and Fernandes has conceded the 26-year-old is likely to search for top flight football elsewhere.

"I think you've got to be real, it's a World Cup year," Fernandes added. "There are lots of players who can play in their national team, I think in some case Loic - it's a drug isn't it? When you're playing against the big sides and you want to do that.

"Loic is probably at the peak of his career and he wants to do that. I'd love him to stay. Both Chris and Loic are two players I signed, I went out and got them against the odds and I'd love them both to stay but we're going to have to see."

QPR were close to securing a deal for West Brom's Peter Odemwingie after the Nigerian travelled to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day to pursue Rangers' interest and Fernandes refused to rule out a move for the striker in the summer.

"Never say never," he said. "It depends what West Brom want to do as well - it depends what Peter wants to do but I think Harry likes the player."

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