Queen's Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has revealed chairman Tony Fernandes turned down a "massive offer" from an unnamed Russian club for defender Christopher Samba last week.
Samba joined the Hoops from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala in the January transfer window, and could have returned to the Russian Premier League last week had Fernandes decided to cash in on the 28-year-old.
Samba was influential in the R's win over Southampton on Saturday and Redknapp admits he is relieved they managed to hang onto him.
"We had an offer for Samba, right on the deadline and the chairman turned it down," he said after his side's win over the Saints.
"We had an offer of more money than what we paid for Samba. The chairman had a massive offer for him to go back to Russia.
"The chairman asked me 'what do you think?' and I said 'it is up to you, it is your club, it is your decision'.
"I would have had no problem. I left it to the chairman. He came back and said he had turned it down and said 'get on with it'.
"The player probably spoke to the chairman but it was really important we kept him.
"It was really good for us. Had we had lost him, I would say that is football. He is a proper player."
Redknapp added that he feels Samba is one of the best centre-backs in England and is surprised he wasn't snapped up by one of the bigger teams in the Premier League after he was sold by relegated Blackburn in 2012.
"When he was sold, I could never understand why Arsenal did not sign him that time. He is everything you need. He is quick, he can play round his feet," the former Tottenham boss said.
"He is a proper centre-half. He could play anywhere in this country and for all the top teams."