Birmingham City- Transfer Window Jan 2008 - Week 3


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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1/21/2008 10:30:00 AM.
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Week 3 of the January Transfer window produced feelings of relief around St Andrewís. Alex McLeish finally landed his two key targets that had been blocked the week before.

Everton striker James McFadden was obviously the key signing for the new management team- clearly, McLeish managed to sell the move to the player but Everton didnít want to sell.

By the time the Everton agreed to do business the asking price climbed to £5 million. That is probably good business for David Moyes and McFadden must feel that he has more chances to play at Birmingham. Whether its good value for Blues only time will tell.

It was always more likely that Hibernian would part with David Murphy if Birmingham made a persistent approach. £1.5 million sealed the deal to bring the former Middlesbrough left back south again.

Attention has now switched back to Manchester City striker Giorgios Samaras. The local Express & Star believes that City have tabled a £2.5 million bid for the Greek forward who is marginalised at Eastlands.

The problem is that the Sky Blues paid £6 million for the Heerenveen striker and having seen Birmingham up their offer for McFadden, they may wait to see what price the West Midlanders would go to for Samaras.

Birmingham are also in the process of tying up a loan for a young Argentinian striker, Mauro Zarate. Heís currently with a club in the cash-rich Qatar League but Blues are closing on a six month loan deal. The player has admitted the move to the Gulf was pure financial one.

McLeish is hoping that the prospect of being in the Premiership shop window will tempt Zarate to Birmingham. As the Express & Star pointed out, if Zarate and Samaras arrive, Birmingham would then have six first team strikers to choose from.

In other areas of the team, Birmingham were given permission to speak to Aston Villaís Gary Cahill, who could follow the path of his former team mate Liam Ridgewell and cross the city.

Martin OíNeill has a tendency to favour experienced defenders- at his various clubs he has given young talent its head in other areas of the team but rarely in the back four.

Cahill had enjoyed limited opportunities at Villa Park and could take heart from the way Ridgewell has become an established first choice in the Blue ranks. Cahill has been on loan at Sheffield United this season and with Villa having a small squad, it indicates he doesnít really figure in OíNeillís plans.

Manchester Unitedís Darren Fletcher came out to deny the reports that heís leaving Old Trafford. Birmingham are the club that the Scot is most often linked with but Fletcher appears to have firmly closed the door on a transfer in January, though the summer could be a different matter.

The Birmingham management will be active right up to the end of the window. Even if Cahill and Samaras arrive, Alex McLeish probably still has at least one more target and the Blues team could be very different by February.

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