New QPR striker Loic Remy says a game of FIFA 13 with club owner Tony Fernandes convinced him to join the Premier League strugglers.
With the former Marseille man said to have his pick between Rangers and Newcastle prior to his switch to west London, a four-hour talk with Fernandes – culminating in a head-to-head video-gaming session – helped seal the deal.
“It was a special moment that followed our chat about QPR,” Remy told the club’s official website.
“We just played a game of FIFA – it was good and showed to me what a good person Tony is. He showed his human side to me as an owner of the club I wanted to join. It was a special moment for us both.”
The 26-year-old signed for a club record fee on a four-and-a-half year deal and chief executive Philip Beard insisted that ‘this move isn’t motivated by money’.
“Loic has a passion and desire to achieve in his career and similar to (Julio) Cesar, he wanted to be part of our project,” he said.
“We know we haven’t achieved our goals so far this season but he wanted to come in and help us build for the future.
“Tony is remarkable, he never gives up – that is his style – and he is as delighted as anyone that we’ve got this deal done.”
Beard also stated that, despite the club being delighted to add the striker to their squad, owner Fernandes did hold back a little in their sparring session, adding: “They had great fun but Tony told me he let him win!”
“But in all seriousness, it was a great way for them to get to know each other better.
“Loic was Harry’s (Redknapp, manager) No.1 target and we’re delighted we’ve been able to pull this deal off.
“There was a lot of interest in him from other clubs, because he is one of the hottest properties in Europe, so the fact we’ve managed to sign him is incredible.”