Clock ticking on QPR as Ukraine eye Redknapp

QPR could be forced to hurry a decision on the future of under-fire manager Mark Hughes after it emerged Ukraine want to hire the man tipped to replace him at Loftus Road, Harry Redknapp.

Hughes remains in charge despite crisis talks with chief executive Philip Beard on Monday, 48 hours after their season lurched to a new low with defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton.

The Welshman is on thin ice, however, with the west London club yet to achieve a single win from their 12 Premier League games this term and anchored to the bottom of the table.

Former Tottenham boss Redknapp, who has been out of work since his acrimonious departure from White Hart Lane in June, is the clear bookmakers’ favourite to replace Hughes, should he be sacked.

But QPR chiefs may need to act quickly if they want Redknapp, after the Ukrainian Football Federation (FFU) revealed him to be their surprise choice to take charge of the national team.

“He has lots of experience, coaching talent and knows how to motivate,” said the FFU’s Mikhail Fomenko. “In whatever team he led Redknapp very quickly improved the quality of the play and achieved significant progress. Today he is an expert in the game and one of the best English coaches.”

Redknapp’s representatives confirmed last night that FFU officials had made contact over the vacancy, after former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko rejected the chance to succeed Oleg Blokhin.

Former West Ham and Portsmouth manager Redknapp was linked with the Blackburn job earlier this season but rejected their advances. He is thought keen to work in commuting distance from his Hampshire home.

Beard yesterday dismissed Monday’s summit with Hughes as “no different to usual”, but chairman Tony Fernandes is believed to still be mulling whether to remove the ex-Manchester City boss this week.