Date:Friday May 25 2007
Eric Black admitted in an interview today that finding the right transfer targets may be tough for Blues in their run-up to the new season.
The immense hike in the TV money available to Premiership teams is bound to cause transfer fee inflation and there are a lot of teams chasing a relatively small number of players of the right quality.
As the club takeovers roll on, the super-wealthy are lining up to buy into high-profile clubs. It's actually easier to think of those that have not been linked to buyout activities in the last few years.
Those currently in the European places are likely to be spending heavily over the next three months, as Spurs seem to have captured Gareth Bale and Benitez is exhorting Liverpool's new owners to dig deep in their quest to do better than third place.
The pickings for teams destined to be in the bottom half of the Premiership are likely to be few and Steve Bruce will have to spend his money wisely.
That there may be as little as £10m available has struck terror into the hearts of the fans who have read in the press that Roy Keane has been given a £25m war chest to give Sunderland a fighting chance of avoiding the drop this time around.
Securing Fabrice Muamba has been a stroke of good luck but Birmingham will be looking to strengthen the team in other areas.
The news that Mikael Forssell is likely to stay may have eased the striker situation to an extent, but following the best part of three seasons unfit, he will need to prove his abilities quickly.
It is likely that Steve Bruce will want to strengthen his midfield and acquiring some experienced defenders is a must.
Blues have apparently lodged a bid for West Ham's Paul Konchesky but the word is that they are holding out for £4m, which could be interpreted as a tit-for-tat move in the wake of the high price demanded for the sale of Matthew Upson in the opposite direction nearly six months ago.
Other players reputedly under the eyes of Steve Bruce's scouts include Scott Carson, Jiri Jarosik (surprisingly), Antoine Sibierski and Kris Commons.
It is arguable whether Carson is significantly better than either Doyle or Taylor. Ben Foster would be a better choice but is likely to be seeing first-team action at Old Trafford this year.
Sibierski may not be free-scoring enough to solve the striker issue and Commons is untested at the top level. However, following Nottingham Forest's failure to get into the playoff finals it is possible they will want to cash in on their star midfielder.
Jarosik's contribution to Birmingham's last season in the Premiership resulted in some spectacular long-range strikes, but he suffered from being played out of position for long periods and seemed unhappy at the club towards the end of the season. Surprise has been expressed at the possibility of his return and it's very likely that the fans would be divided should he decide on a second spell at St Andrew's.
The rumours will keep flooding in as the net widens.
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