QPR SIGN LAZIO’S DJIBRIL CISSE ON A TWO-AND-A-HALF-YEAR DEAL
Queens Park Rangers have completed the signing of Lazio's French striker Djibril Cisse for a reported £4m.
Cisse, 30, who signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, has failed to gain a regular starting place at Lazio following his summer move from Panathinaikos.
“I've watched him for many years and always been impressed by what he brings to the table,” QPR boss Mark Hughes told the club website.
Hughes has already secured Nancy's Mali midfielder Samba Diakite on loan.
I have unfinished business here in England
The QPR boss had wanted to sign Cisse on loan initially, with the option of making the move permanent in June.
However, both the player and Lazio have pushed for the deal to be permanent from the start, and QPR have now agreed.
Hughes added: “He's a huge threat to oppositions' defences. He's got great pace, power and movement and that's something we will hopefully benefit from.
“His goal record is there for everyone to see. He's scored goals wherever he's played.
“He was desperate to come here once we showed our interest in him and we can't wait to get the best out of him.”
Former Sunderland and Liverpool player Cisse added: “When I talked to the manager, he spoke highly of the club and where he wants to take it over the next few years.
“He wanted to sign me at Manchester City and now I am finally here with him at QPR.
“He wants to achieve big things here – that was all I needed to hear from him.
“I have unfinished business here in England. The English league is the best in the world. It is the league that suits me the most.”
Cisse is best known in England for his three seasons at Liverpool. He joined the Reds in 2004 for £14m and started well, scoring 11 goals in his first 23 games.
However, the France international then suffered an horrific leg break that threatened to end his career.
Born: 12 August 1981
Birthplace: Arles, France
Previous clubs: Auxerre, Liverpool, Marseille, Sunderland, Panathinaikos, Lazio
Current club: QPR
Senior goals: 165
The striker went on to play for Marseille and for Sunderland on loan before joining Greek side Panathinaikos in 2009.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce had been keen to bring Cisse back to the Stadium of Light before being sacked in November.
On Monday, 23-year-old Nancy midfielder Diakite completed his move, on loan until the end of the season, having flown to London from Gabon, where he has been playing at the Africa Cup of Nations for Mali.
“Samba is a young player who has made an impression on French football,” said Hughes.
“There's been a lot of interest in him from top clubs in France so we've done well to get him. He's a good age and has strength and power.
“He can carry the ball and score goals from midfield. He will give us more physical presence and athleticism in the middle of the park.”
Under the terms of the deal, Rangers have the option of exercising an agreement for a permanent move at the end of this season.
According to L'Equipe , Nancy president Jacques Rousselot says that
option would cost QPR 4m euros (£3.36m).
New QPR boss Hughes has already signed two defenders, Nedum Onuoha from Manchester City and Taye Taiwo , on loan from AC Milan.