Birmingham rumours

Frugal McLeish plays down N'Zogbia rumours

December 31, 2009

Alex McLeish may spend only a fraction of the £40 million promised to him by new Birmingham owner Carson Yeung for new players during the January transfer window.

Charles N'Zogbia
GettyImagesCharles N'Zogbia has been linked with a departure from Wigan

McLeish expects to bring in "two or three players'' and is being strongly linked with Charles N'Zogbia (Wigan), Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke 04), Ryan Babel (Liverpool) and Michel (Sporting Gijon).

But City's flying start to the Premier League - they currently lie in seventh spot - means McLeish will not make any panic buys.

Indeed, the club confirmed on Thursday that striker Marcus Bent has seen his loan spell at Middlesbrough extended until January 16.

The former Scotland boss said: "I am sure when you are in, or just about the relegation zone, you start to make rash decisions and panic, and maybe spend more money than you should.

"I am not a great fan of the January window because it is a panic-buy window. We are in the position where I don't have to spend anywhere near the money that was mentioned when the new owners came in.

"We can be prudent, do our diligence and try and bring two or three players that will keep us ticking over nicely. Our league position is a bit false because we've punched way above our weight. But we want to try and remain as close as possible to where we are.''

McLeish added: "At the end of the day, normally players only worry about the contract and the package and what the money is. I would like to think we can bring players with a bit of character who want to achieve the way this dressing room is achieving at the moment.

"People say to me 'Charles N'Zogbia is keen to come' but I've got no comment about that because Charles N'Zogbia is a Wigan player.

"We've got a number of players under scrutiny at the moment and I'm not going to mention any names because it would be tantamount to tapping up another club's player."

One player could be leaving Wigan though as midfielder Olivier Kapo could be set for a loan move to Ligue 1 outfit Boulogne.

The 29-year-old France international suffered a knee injury during pre-season and was ruled out for three months, and he has been unable to force his way into Roberto Martinez's plans at the DW Stadium, having joined the club from Birmingham in 2008 when Steve Bruce was in charge of the Latics.

Boulogne, who currently lie in the relegation zone after struggling to adapt to life in the top flight following their promotion last season, hope to complete a deal in the next couple of days.

Sporting director Bruno Dupuis told L'Equipe: "He is one of a few players we are looking at, we are hoping to bring in two or three players."