x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Mark Hughes closing in on manager's role at QPR

The former Manchester City and Fulham coach has held talks with Tony Fernandes

Mark Hughes' last managerial role was at Fulham, who he left in the summer.
Mark Hughes' last managerial role was at Fulham, who he left in the summer.

Mark Hughes is on the brink of becoming the next manager of Queens Park Rangers after holding talks at Loftus Road to discuss the vacancy.

The former Wales, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham manager was partnered by adviser Kia Joorabchian as QPR look to move swiftly to replace Neil Warnock following his dismissal on Sunday.

It is understood Tony Fernandes, the QPR owner, was leading the talks, despite announcing yesterday that he was due to fly to China for a vital business meeting regarding his AirAsia airline.

Philip Beard, the QPR chief executive, had vowed the club would act "very quickly" to bring in a new boss following Warnock's departure after 22 months in charge.

A run of eight Premier League matches without a win, in which QPR mustered just two points, cost Warnock his job, leaving the club in 17th, one point above the relegation zone.

Although the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Rafael Benitez, Roberto di Matteo, and Sven Goran Eriksson have been linked with the position, Hughes has been the leading candidate from the off.

The Welshman arrived at QPR with Joorabchian yesterday afternoon, seemingly to thrash out terms with the club.

Beard told Sky Sports News yesterday: "I think we've some people at the club who can help us in the very, very short term, but we'll try and move very quickly and get things sorted."

One of the reasons behind the club's fast thinking is not just the forthcoming games, but also to give Hughes as much time as possible to act in the transfer market.

It is understood a sizeable budget is available, with QPR already having had a bid of £5 million (Dh28.3m) rejected by Blackburn for the defender Chris Samba.

Beard said: "We're already moving into the second week of January. The reality is there are some funds there and we've got to make the right purchases. It's a tricky month to try and make things happen.

"But our appetite is to bring one or two players in, if we can, to strengthen the squad, and the new manager will be part of that."