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Nelsen lands top job at Toronto

QPR defender Ryan Nelsen has agreed a deal to take on the vacant managerial role at Major League Soccer outfit Toronto FC.

Nelsen has been targeted to replace former England international Paul Mariner and become the club’s eighth manager in their six-year history.

The 35-year-old is contracted to QPR until the end of the season but, with the new MLS campaign set to begin in March, appears unlikely to see out his deal.

According to the west London club’s official website, the New Zealand-born defender is now in talks with boss Harry Redknapp over his departure – though he is expected to feature against Tottenham at the weekend.

Speaking at a press conference in Canada, Nelsen said: “I am under contract at QPR. Harry Redknapp and Tony Fernandes, the owner of QPR, are fantastic people. They are such nice people.

“I’ve got some obligations at QPR that we have just got to go through.

“It has been a bit of whirlwind so there are some details we have to go through.”

Nelsen joined QPR after departing White Hart Lane over the summer and has made 18 Premier League appearances so far this season.

However, the centre-back, who previously played in the MLS with DC United, is set to hang up his boots in order to make his first foray into management.

He added: “Getting out the English Premier League has major financial implications and there is a lot of pressure from fans, the media and so on, so I have an obligation.

“I really want QPR to stay up and to kick on for Harry and because of the owner. They are just fantastic people.

“They would like me to keep playing but we have to sit down and talk. If we can get five straight wins, that’d be perfect.

“I think then we can shake hands but we are just going to have to talk and see how things progress.”

Nelsen, who represented New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup, played for four years at DC United before a move to Blackburn in 2005.

Tue 8 Jan, 2013
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