Mark Hughes confirms Alex interest
New QPR manager Mark Hughes has said he is eager to secure a deal for transfer-listed Chelsea defender Alex.
Reports this week claimed QPR have already launched a bid for Alex - and, while Hughes stopped short of confirming that, he did reveal his admiration for the Brazil international.
"I'm always a little wary about talking about players and names, but there's interest in top-quality players, certainly," Hughes said. "The one you mentioned [Alex] is very much in that level and we would hope to bring that quality of player to the club if that's possible."
Alex slapped Chelsea with a transfer request last year after finding himself marginalised under boss Andre Villas-Boas, who prefers to start with David Luiz and John Terry in central defence. He has not featured for the club since the Carling Cup defeat to Liverpool on November 29.
QPR are also thought to be interested in defenders Nedum Onouha of Manchester City and Chris Samba of Blackburn Rovers; Hughes confirmed he would be active in the market, and hinted that a striker could be a priority.
"Certain areas need addressing but I'll take my time," he said. "It is important to recognise the strengths of the group, I need to assess that. At Premier League level the ability to take chances and score goals is crucial. If I feel we need to strengthen in that area then we will look to do that."
Meanwhile, Hughes has confirmed that Joey Barton is likely to stay on as captain. "Joey's the captain and I see no reason to change that, as we speak,'' Hughes told QPR Player. "Obviously, I'll be having conversations with all the players and understanding the dynamics of the team. But it's not my intention to take the captaincy away.''