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Thursday, January 3, 2008
'I'm not just targeting Scottish players' - McLeish

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has insisted he will not just be bringing in Scottish players during the January transfer window.

The former Rangers and Scotland boss claimed his comment he would bring in 'players that I know' has been misinterpreted as meaning he will only look to bolster the squad with players from north of the border or the national side.

McLeish has been continually linked with the likes of Kris Boyd, James McFadden and Alan Hutton but he is considering all options with out of favour Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras one player on his radar.

McLeish said: 'People mis-understood me when I said I would like to bring in players that I know.

'Everyone thought I meant only Scottish players when I said that - but my knowledge of European players is quite good and players across the world.'

McLeish is aware that spending bucketfuls of money during January may be a risk and is weighing up whether to primarily go for loan deals before strengthening for the long term in the summer.

He said: 'We will rely on scouts reports and, rather than committing millions of the club's money, we will possibly look at doing some loan deals.

'Signing players in January can be pretty dangerous - especially if you do not retain your Premier League status. You can be left with a huge long-term burden. We will try to be as shrewd as we can.'

Samaras cost City 5.7 million when he moved from Heerenveen two years ago but has made only limited appearances under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

McLeish is aware that bringing in a new central defender is a priority given the fact Johan Djourou has returned to Arsenal after a loan spell, Radhi Jaidi will be on African Nations Cup duty with Tunisia and Martin Taylor has been told he can leave.

It leaves him short in that department with just Liam Ridgewell and Rafael Schmitz as specialist centre-backs.




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