Crouch and Samba on Redknapp’s shopping list


QUEENS Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp last night confirmed he is eyeing a fifth spell with former England striker Peter Crouch, after holding Premier League champions Manchester City to a draw.

Redknapp wants to sign Crouch, 31, from Stoke and Russia-based former Blackburn defender Christopher Samba before tomorrow’s transfer deadline in a bid to bolster his squad for the relegation run-in.

A deal for Crouch would resume one of English football’s longest-standing double acts, the centre-forward having played under Redknapp at Southampton, Tottenham and in two spells at Portsmouth.

“I don’t know if they want to sell him or not,” Redknapp said. “We’ll have to wait and see. If they decide to sell him we would be interested because I like Peter, I have managed him several times.”

Congolese centre-back Samba, who has complained of racism in Russia since joining Anzhi Makhachkala, is also a key target, with last night ending defender Ryan Nelsen’s spell at Rangers.

“We’re struggling a bit,” said Redknapp, who named two goalkeepers among his substitutes. “The chairman asked me if I’d be interested if he could get me Samba and I said of course, he is a fantastic competitor.”

Redknapp called the draw “a bonus point”, although they remain three adrift at the bottom of the table, while City boss Roberto Mancini labelled the result “incredible”.

“We did everything to win this game but we didn’t score,” said Mancini, who praised QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar. “Julio saved everything and we made some mistakes – on another day maybe we could have scored four goals.”

Cesar denied Gareth Barry with a superb fingertip save just before half-time, and kept out David Silva from close range late on, as City missed the chance to cut the gap on leaders Manchester United to two points.

Visiting stopper Joe Hart was equally alert to rush off his line, spread himself and block Adel Taarabt’s first-half shot after a surging run from the Moroccan midfielder.