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Saturday, January 19, 2008
McLeish ponders 2.5million Samaras swoop

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish will decide over the weekend whether to step up his bid to sign Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras.

The midlands club are understood to be close to agreeing a fee - believed to be in the region of 2.5 million - for the Greek international who has had few opportunities since the arrival of Sven-Goran Eriksson.

McLeish has already brought in Everton frontrunner James McFadden for an initial 5million with Al-Sadd forward Mauro Zarate poised to join on loan next week.

But McLeish is determined to have sufficient fire-power at his disposal to bolster Birmingham's hopes of remaining in the Premier League.

In addition to McFadden, he also has Cameron Jerome, Garry O'Connor and Mikael Forssell at his disposal.

Samaras joined Manchester City for 6 million in the 2006 January transfer window from Heerenveen but has had only a limited impact.

McLeish said: 'I don't like to talk about any possible deals until they are completed but there is an interest in Samaras.'

The former Scotland boss is also not just concentrating on bringing in extra fire-power.

He is aware of the need to bolster the centre of his defence and has been given permission to speak to Aston Villa's Gary Cahill.

But Villa boss O'Neill has insisted a number of offers received for Cahill have fallen short of the club's valuation - believed to be around 4 million.

McLeish, who has also signed Hibernian left-back David Murphy for 1.5 million, said: 'We will try to get other players in as well because we are a bit light in other areas of the squad.

'If I can identify the right players I feel can take us forward, I won't hesitate in telling the board - and then it will be up to them.'




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