QPR aiming to delay Ryan Nelsen's February 1 departure to Toronto

Nelsen is due to depart for his new job at Toronto FC on February 1. Photo: PA

Manager Harry Redknapp refuses to concede defeat in his battle to keep defender Ryan Nelsen at QPR for as long as possible.

Nelsen has been appointed head coach of Toronto FC and the Major League Soccer club expect him to start work on February 1, ensuring Tuesday's Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City will be his final game for Rangers.

When the 35-year-old announced at the start of the month that he would be leaving, Redknapp expected to keep a player he values highly until the latter stages of their relegation battle.

While he is resigned to losing him far sooner, he wants the New Zealand international to be available for the crucial showdown with Norwich at Loftus Road on February 2.

"I need to speak to Ryan, I need him here for the Norwich game," said Redknapp, who revealed Nelsen will be rested for tomorrow's FA Cup tie against MK Dons.

"I thought we were talking March 1 when I spoke to Ryan last. Suddenly this has all changed. I'm hoping we can put it back a few days.

"He's been away all week in Canada doing some work for his new club I need him next week - we're desperately short and I need Ryan to play.

"He's got a job to go to and wants to crack on with that. He felt it's an opportunity that may never come along for him again.

"I can understand where he's coming from because it's his future, but I wish he was staying because there haven't been too many better players than him here this year."

Striker Loic Remy and defender Tal Ben Haim have been the only arrivals during an otherwise frustrating transfer window that has seen Redknapp miss out on several targets.

Porto defender Rolando is currently on Redknapp's radar, while a deal for and Chunnam Dragons' South Korean international Yun Suk-young is close to being completed, but neither goalkeeper Julio Cesar nor centre-back Anton Ferdinand will be leaving.

"I've been travelling all over the place, it's been busy. It's difficult. I've taken lots of flights but it's been very hard to actually land anyone," Redknapp said.

"I've been around Europe every day and haven't been home for 12 days. My wife said to me the other day 'I've forgotten what you look like'. I told her I look like Paul Newman, she said 'in your dreams'!

"You think you've got someone and then something else happens and you don't get the player. I'm chasing here, chasing there, and coming up with nothing.

"That's how it's been for the last few weeks and the clock's ticking down now. If we don't get the people I want and a bit of quality, we'll sit tight.

"We got Remy and that was great for us, but we need to strengthen and that's an obvious fact.

"We're still bottom of the league. We've been on a decent run, but we had an horrendous start.

"I still fancy us to get out of this position, but to do that we do need to strengthen a bit."

Redknapp will play a weakened team against npower League One club MK Dons.

"You want to keep winning, that is the key. We've had a five-game unbeaten run and want to continue that," he said.

"But we have Manchester City on Tuesday and Norwich the following Saturday, so the squad will get used tomorrow, and that's no disrespect to MK Dons."