Birmingham City; Jan 2008 Transfer window - Week 1 round-up


Hugh Larkin

Hugh Larkin has a definite policy to support underdogs. Can be relied upon to support any team against Real Madrid and hopes one day to see Walsall as the top West Midland side....
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08/01/2008 09:30:00.
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As Birmingham City entered the transfer window period, Alex McLeish made his views clear. The new boss doesn’t feel he has the numbers and needs to be able to add to his squad across the board so that some of his key men can be rested.

He will be aware that two of his men- Rahdi Jaidi and Mehdi Nafti- are joining up with the Tunisia squad for the African Nations Cup and being knocked out of the FA Cup at Huddersfield will increase his urgency.

Adding to the strikers is key. The latest name in the frame is Manchester City man Georgios Samaras, although that isn’t likely to be a signing to set the fans alight. Blues have apparently missed out on Mexican Lucas Castroman who has opted for Buenos Aires instead of Birmingham.

It’s not surprising that McLeish is being linked with a number of Scottish players and especially James McFadden, who thrived under his management for the national side.

The Scot doesn’t have a regular berth in the Everton line up but the Toffees are not going to be willing to let McFadden leave at time when they lose Yakubu to the African Nations Cup.

The player himself may also be loathe to get involved in a relegation scrap when he’s playing for a club flying high up the table and still very active in the UEFA Cup.

Kris Boyd is another Scottish international striker whose name has come up regularly on the rumour mill recently. The lure of the Premiership (cash) is strong but the question is whether the striker wants to exchange winning trophies at Ibrox for the battle at St Andrews.

Darren Fletcher is another of McCleish’s former Scotland charges who is linked with a move to St Andrews. Again, Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to want to do business but the writing is on the wall for Fletcher’s career at Old Trafford, where he appears destined to be a squad man.

This deal has a more positive feel about it as United have Scholes, Anderson, Hargreaves and Carrick for the central midfield berths. Earlier in the week, Birmingham lost out on Jonny Evans who returned for another loan spell at Sunderland.

The club are trying to extend the loan deal of Wilson Palacios but there is unwelcome competition from former Blues boss Steve Bruce who would surely love to snatch a player from the club which he left amid some acrimony.

In defence Anthony Gardner of Spurs is a name in the frame. The giant centre back is continually a fill in at White Hart Lane and after the displays of Spurs back four this campaign, he may feel he deserves more opportunities. Gardner has been at Spurs since way back in 1998 and his career is stagnating.

Celtic defender Bobo Balde’s name has been connected to any number of clubs recently but the Guinean will be involved at the African Nations Cup and that makes him less attractive to a club like the Blues.

There will be a considerable activity at Birmingham in the coming weeks. McCleish’s international stint added to his bulging contact book and he can be expected to make full use of it.

Premier League Jan 2008 Transfer Window - Week 1 Round-up

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