Fernandes: A very real chance of Samba staying at QPR

The chairman has spoken about his change in philosophy at the club from next season, but hopes to keep the "fantastic" defender for their Premier League promotion push
QPR owner Tony Fernandes says there is a "very real" chance of keeping defender Christopher Samba at the club, despite their relegation from the Premier League.

Samba has made 10 appearances since his January move from Anzhi, but has recieved plenty of criticism for his performances, with his first half against west London rivals Fulham a notably poor showing.

But the QPR chairman has stated that he hopes to keep the French born, Congolese international and possibly build the team around him.

15/2 QPR are 15/2 with Bet365 to draw 1-1 against Arsenal
Asked about the chances of Samba staying, Fernandes told London Call-In: "I think it's very real.

"I haven't had a chance to speak to Chris since [the club were relegated] 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."

The west London side face Arsenal at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon, and are hoping to secure just their fifth win of the Premier League season.

Harry Redknapp's side currently have 33 first team players at Loftus Road, but are tipped to lose some familiar faces in the shape of Julio Cesar, Loic Remy and Samba.

"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," Fernandes continued.

"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."