LONDON // Tony Fernandes, the Queens Park Rangersco-owner, is prepared to bankroll the club's Premier League survival with a commitment to new recruits that will run to over £50 million (Dh281.3m).
After appointing Mark Hughes as manager last week, the Welshman is to be allowed to enter the January market for as many as five players with substantial funds available for both transfer fees and salaries.
On Friday, Tottenham rejected an opening offer of £2.5m rising to £3m for Steven Pienaar. Their chairman, Daniel Levy, expects QPR to return with an improved bid for the South Africa captain, who has been told to find new employment and is expected to command a fee of up to £5m.
Chelsea have agreed a fee for their transfer-listed central defender Alex.
Hughes regards Pienaar - also the subject of significant interest from the new Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill - as an individual who can offer creativity across the midfield. As well as at least one defender, he is in the market for a winger and a striker. In total, Hughes has a budget of £25m to spend on transfer fees.
As expected when Neil Warnock was dismissed in favour of Hughes, much of QPR's activity in the January market is being handled by Kia Joorabchian. The unlicensed agent advised Hughes to exercise a clause in his contract to leave Fulham last summer amid suggestions that his client was a favoured candidate for vacant positions at Chelsea and Aston Villa.
Fernandes has also discussed the possibility of pushing the budget still further by bringing Joorabchian's most high-profile player, Carlos Tevez, to QPR.
"You never know, but it's highly unlikely," the Malaysian said. "He's one of the most highly paid players in the league and I think his mind is to go to another country."
City would prefer to move Tevez outside the Premier League and will continue to insist on a guaranteed transfer for the Argentine, rather than a half-season loan.
Inter Milan intend to make a further approach for Tevez after the AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi halted transfer negotiations last week. City would, however, be happy to sell Nedum Onuoha domestically in the current window and the little-used defender is another player with links to Joorabchian.