QPR boss Mark Hughes instantly bids 7m for Chris Samba

Hughes moves straight for 7m Samba after being confirmed as QPR boss

Mark Hughes was confirmed as Queens Park Rangers manager on Tuesday and immediately tabled a 7million bid for Chris Samba.

The former Manchester City boss signed a two-and-a-half-year contract, as Sportsmail exclusively predicted on Monday.

And Hughes wasted no time in making his mark at Loftus Road by submitting an improved offer for Blackburn Rovers defender Samba.

Fresh start: New QPR boss Mark Hughes is raring to go... and he spoke to his new team at their training ground shortly after being unveiled

Fresh start: New QPR boss Mark Hughes is raring to go… and he spoke to his new team at their training ground shortly after being unveiled

Fresh start: New QPR boss Mark Hughes is raring to go... and he spoke to his new team at their training ground shortly after being unveiled

Fresh start: New QPR boss Mark Hughes is raring to go… and he spoke to his new team at their training ground shortly after being unveiled

Former Rangers manager Neil Warnock’s 5m offer for Samba was
rejected last week but Hughes has made signing him his priority. It is
understood Blackburn want at least 8m for their 27-year-old centre
half, although it was last night unclear whether they had responded to
the new offer.

But Hughes, who signed Samba from
Hertha Berlin in 2007 when he was Rovers manager, will face competition
from Tottenham and paris Saint-Germain, who have also made an enquiry
about the Congo defender.

With the ink barely dry on his
contract, Hughes, accompanied by adviser Kia Joorabchian and Rangers
chief executive Phil Beard, went to the club’s Harlington training base
in west London to meet his players and explain his plan to keep them in
the Barclays Premier League.

He assured them they will be given
the chance to impress him in the coming weeks but insisted he will not
allow his high standards to slip as he tries to guide his new side to
safety.

Speaking to the club’s official
website, Hughes said: ‘I’m fully aware of the challenge in the short and
long term and I am genuinely excited about the ambition of the owners.
Now the immediate priority is to consolidate our place in the Barclays
Premier League, but beyond that, the future is very bright and fills me
with great enthusiasm.’

Wanted: Blackburn defender Chris Samba is Hughes' No 1 target this month

Wanted: Blackburn defender Chris Samba is Hughes' No 1 target this month

Owner Tony Fernandes added: ‘Mark has
a proven track record in the Premier League, bringing a wealth of
experience at both club and international level.

‘He has a great passion to achieve as
a manager and has already been hugely successful in his career. His
ambitions match those of the board and we are delighted to have him at
the helm.’

Mark joins the four-club club

Mark Hughes is the fifth man to manage four Premier League clubs.

Graeme Souness Liverpool, Blackburn, Southampton, Newcastle.

Harry Redknapp West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton, Tottenham.

Ron Atkinson Aston Villa, Coventry, Nottm Forest, Sheffield Wednesday.

Roy Hodgson Blackburn, Liverpool, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion.

Mark Hughes Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR.

Record run

On Sunday, Hughes bids to extend a proud record of never having lost at St James' Park as a manager.

Newcastle 0 Blackburn 1

Newcastle 0 Blackburn 2

Newcastle 0 Blackburn 1

Newcastle 2 Man City 2

Newcastle 0 Fulham 0

Hughes and his assistants Mark Bowen
and Eddie Niedzwiecki take their first training session today in
preparation for Sunday’s trip to Newcastle.

Hughes left the training ground at
the end of an emotional day for his players after sacked manager Neil
Warnock also paid them a surprise visit.

Warnock, together with his first-team
coaches Keith Curle and Mick Jones, made a quick trip to Harlington to
say his final goodbyes to players and staff.

He thanked them for their commitment
to him during his 22-month reign before making a quick exit. Warnock,
63, will discuss his immediate future with wife Sharon before deciding
whether to continue with his managerial career.

But Sportsmail understands that
Championship strugglers Ipswich have already discussed the possibility
of making a move for Warnock should they decide to axe their current
manager Paul Jewell.