Redknapp buries the hatchet with QPR midfielder Taarabt

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp and outspoken midfielder Adel Taarabt.

PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Ben Hoskins - Get/Getty Images

Harry Redknapp will consider selecting Adel Taarabt for Saturday’s clash with Chelsea after burying the hatchet with the midfielder.

The QPR manager got involved in a public spat with Taarabt earlier this month, claiming the Moroccan was "three stone overweight" and not fit for first-team football.

Taarabt responded by posing topless in a newspaper interview and questioning Redknapp’s tactics, but the pair have now cleared the air, paving the way for a potential recall at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

"I had a great chat with Adel," Redknapp said. "He wants to get fit and back in the team. He’s worked very hard in training this week.

"Adel admitted he needs to get fitter and work harder and he’s told me he’s going to do that. That’s all I want. He will be training with us again this morning and as soon as he’s fit, I’m sure he’ll be a valuable player for us.

"Adel might be involved this weekend. I wouldn’t hesitate to put him in the squad. Let’s wait and see who’s available, but Adel’s the kind of player who could change the game for us, so let’s see."

Rio Ferdinand will miss the short trip across west London as he serves the first game of a three-match suspension for posting an offensive message on Twitter.

Redknapp would not comment on the specifics of the case, but said Ferdinand, who had lost his place in the Rangers team before the ban, is happy to fight for his place at the club.


"Rio understands and accepts being on the bench," he said. "He’s a great pro, he’ll be patient and work as hard as always."

Redknapp is still without Joey Barton, Jordon Mutch and defenders Nedum Onuoha and Clint Hll as he prepares to face "the best team in the country".

But Shaun Wright-Phillips, scorer of January’s shock winner at Chelsea, is available having rejected "one or two opportunities to go on loan" according to Redknapp.

He said: "Chelsea are the best team in the country, the team to beat this season for sure, but we’ll give it a go. We pulled off a shock last time … let’s hope we can pull off another this weekend."