Birmingham confirm Pavlyuchenko interest

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The Independent Football

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has confirmed his interest in signing the Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

McLeish is desperate to sign a new forward before the transfer window closes on Monday and Russia international Pavlyuchenko, who is out of favour at White Hart Lane, is on his wishlist.

McLeish said: "I would certainly take Pavlyuchenko. But (I don't know) whether we could afford him and whether we could take that step, which is a big one for us to go for a player of that ilk.

"Certainly if the wages were not too outrageous then that would be something that would be reasonably attractive. He is a great player."

McLeish is due to have transfer talks with Birmingham's owner Carson Yeung following his arrival from Hong Kong.

The Scot added: "We will sit down and see where we are going. The owner would probably want to keep the big money for the summer.

"I have asked the question and if the board can do it then it will be great. If they can't, we move on but have to move on quickly.

"He is a good player but we are looking at other players.

"I am trying to bring in a player who could help the team and also bring in some quality."

McLeish needs striking reinforcements as Cameron Jerome has been nursing an ankle injury, while veteran striker Kevin Phillips has a groin problem which means it is imperative for McLeish to add a new striker to his squad.

The former Scotland manager added: "We cannot allow anything to drag on as the deadline is Monday. We really have to get moving on that one.

"The board of directors are trying to help me. It is up to them as at the end of day they are the ones who provide the money and have to secure the deal for us.

"Even my players are asking, 'are we getting another centre forward?'

"So when your own players are asking it shows they are ambitious and want help."

In the meantime, McLeish is focused on bouncing back against Tottenham on Saturday after Birmingham's 15-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea last night.

McLeish said: "It's a new challenge for them because they have not been in this position for a long time. It's now how they react.

"We knew that someday we would drop points and we have gone over old experiences.

"Manchester United have gone on unbeaten runs knowing that one day they would lose. It's coping with that and not beating up ourselves over the Chelsea defeat.

"The good thing about the Chelsea game was that afterwards I could see in the dressing room that the players were really upset and cared. You can tell a player's character when you get that sort of reaction.

"We haven't achieved anything. They say pride comes before a fall so we do not want to be thumping the drums until we have done something.

"The Chelsea game was a little reminder that we still have some hard work ahead of us. I do not judge my team over a season on what happened at Stamford Bridge."