Soccer: Samba joins Rangers' fight to avoid relegation

Christopher Samba (left). Photo / Getty Images
Christopher Samba (left). Photo / Getty Images

Christopher Samba joined Queens Park Rangers' relegation fight and Danny Graham left Swansea City for Sunderland as the January transfer window concluded amid a flurry of activity yesterday.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp swooped for Congolese centre-back Samba in a club-record deal reportedly worth £12.5 million ($23.6 million), as he tries to haul the London club off the foot of the English Premier League.

Redknapp said: "Chris is just what we need. He's a monster. Great in the air, quick, a leader, strong, fantastic in both boxes, hard as nails. He's a proper centre-half."

Sunderland announced the capture of Graham in a £5 million switch from Swansea. The 27-year-old striker has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at the Stadium of Light, allowing the Black Cats to release French forward Louis Saha.

The Premier League also bade farewell to trouble-prone Italian striker Mario Balotelli, who completed a £19 million move to AC Milan after falling out of favour at champions Manchester City.

Norwich City announced that they had agreed to sign Argentine forward Luciano Becchio from second-tier Leeds United in a part-exchange deal that will see Wales international striker Steve Morison move in the opposite direction.

Fulham completed a loan move for AC Milan utility player Urby Emanuelson, while Austrian Paul Scharner returned to Wigan Athletic on loan from German side Hamburg.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alexander Doni returned to his native Brazil to join Botafogo on a free transfer, while Newcastle boss Alan Pardew signed Swiss teenager Kevin Mbabu from Servette for an undisclosed fee.

- AAP

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