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QPR boss defends Remy over Newcastle snub

Queens Park Rangers Manager Harry Redknapp shows his frustration during the game against Aston Villa. Queens Park Rangers Manager Harry Redknapp shows his frustration during the game against Aston Villa.

Saturday, January 19, 2013
6:00 AM

QPR manager Harry Redknapp defended Loic Remy’s decision to move to Loftus Road over a move to Newcastle.

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Magpies manager Alan Pardew was unhappy that the 26-year-old France international decided to turn down the chance to go to St James’ Park but the R’s boss insisted that it was the player’s decision.

“It’s not sour grapes [on Pardew’s part],” Redknapp said. “It’s up to the player.

“Players go to clubs and it’s his decision. I’m sure he’s told you his reasons.”

Remy had said that he chose QPR because of the prospect of working with Redknapp, who had been tracking him in recent years when in charge of Tottenham.

“[I came across him] three years ago I suppose,” he added. “Stoke wanted to sign him.

“Then I was at Spurs and we were interested in him.

“I watched him play for France. I watched him at Marseille at the time. It was an expensive purchase for anybody at £20million.

“Newcastle wanted him as well. Graham Carr has done a great job in scouting for them. He’s not made too many mistakes there.

“He’s good, he’s quick. I think his movement is excellent. He’s a fantastic runner, off the ball.

“He makes runs, spins. He gives you a threat in behind. We’ve had to play up to Adel, Djibril. That’s where we missed Andy Johnson last year.”

Redknapp was quick to give the credit to Tony Fernandes for completing the deal, when it appeared that Newcastle were the favourites to sign Remy.

“The chairman met him,” he explained. “I didn’t meet him. He liked what he heard about the club. I spoke to him on the phone and mentioned a couple of players I wanted to bring in who he knew.

“I told him it’s exciting project. We’re in a battle but if we can achieve it it’ll be fantastic.

“The chairman dealt with him. I wasn’t involved at all. He’s a nice man the chairman. Loic liked the way he was and thought these are nice people here.

“He decided this is where he wanted to come and play. I got on well with him last year.

“He wanted to come to Tottenham last year. I had a head start in that respect. I don’t know if he met Alan Pardew.

“He knew me and coming to play with me had a bit of a part to play.”

Fernandes was impressed by the character of the 26-year-old and Redknapp is confident that Remy will be a success.

He said: “When the chairman met him, he was impressed.

“I had a long day with him in France. He was a player we were interested in. He’s a nice fella, he’s a good lad. He’ll be good for us.”

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