• France international chooses QPR over Newcastle
• Overall package understood to be worth £17.55m
Queens Park Rangers have broken their transfer record to sign Loïc Rémy for £8m from Marseille and, in the process, placed further strain on their massive wage bill as they continue the high-stakes battle against relegation from the Premier League.
Harry Redknapp described himself as "delighted" to have signed the France striker he had chased at his previous club, Tottenham Hotspur, but the capture of Rémy on a £75,000-a-week four-and-a-half-year contract, which stands to be worth £17.55m before bonuses, including a big one for avoiding relegation, is not expected to represent the end of QPR's January business.
Redknapp is close to signing another France international, the Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila, for a similar fee and weekly wage to that paid for Rémy, while Redknapp retains an interest in taking the Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore on loan for the remainder of the season.
The deal for Livermore was believed to be close last Friday only for him to be in the 19-man Tottenham squad that played at QPR in the league fixture on Saturday. He then featured for Tottenham's under-21 side on Monday. The Tottenham midfielder Sandro, however, damaged his knee at Loftus Road and he faces a lengthy lay-off after undergoing surgery, and this has become a factor in Tottenham's January thinking over Livermore. The 23-year-old is also a loan target for Fulham.
Rémy becomes QPR's second signing of the transfer window, following the capture of the out-of-contract defender Tal Ben Haim, and the striker has quickened pulses at the west London club. Redknapp spoke admiringly of Rémy's pace, movement and goalscoring threat and the 26-year-old will be eligible to make his debut at West Ham United on Saturday.
There have, though, been eyebrows raised at the package for Rémy in light of the fears over the sustainability of QPR's business plan, even if many of the top earners have release clauses and pay cuts written into their contracts in the event of relegation. Rémy has a relegation release clause worth less than the £8m the club have paid for him.
QPR recorded a financial loss last season when they were in the Premier League, after their promotion in May 2011, and that was before they made 12 signings last summer under their manager at the time, Mark Hughes, who also oversaw changes to the club's coaching set-up, youth academy and scouting network.
The summer spree saw big sums spent on signings such as Park Ji-sung, José Bosingwa, Andy Johnson, Junior Hoilett, Esteban Granero, Rob Green and Júlio César, while the club continue to pay a significant chunk of Joey Barton's salary as he plays on loan at Marseille.
Redknapp has released Kieron Dyer and is prepared to move on Bosingwa, with with Djibril Cissé expected to complete a loan move to Qatar, and there are doubts over the futures of several others, including Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell. Redknapp, though, is under no pressure to sell players, other than that imposed by the Premier League's 25-man squad limit rule.
Rémy had looked set to join Newcastle United until QPR stepped in with a wage offer which was virtually double that put forward by the north-east club. "Harry [Redknapp] played a big part in me coming here," said Rémy, who will wear the No18 shirt. "I spoke to him and Tony Fernandes at length and they made it clear they wanted me here. They gave me the right motivation to join QPR. I want to develop my game here. This season the objective is to stay up but beyond that we have greater objectives.
"After seven years in France this is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge in the Premier League – the best league in the world. I am confident I can adapt to the Premier League. My main characteristics have taken me to the level I am at today but I am keen to keep improving in the Premier League."