McLeish has 'exciting' plans for Birmingham

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The Independent Online

Alex McLeish believes Birmingham fans will be "excited" by the targets he is looking to bring to St Andrew's as he steps up his bid to sign Valencia striker Nikola Zigic.

McLeish is maintaining his policy of not commenting on potential signings until any deal has been completed, although he confirmed bids have been put in for players.

But sources closes to Blues indicate the midlands club are "further down the line than anybody" in the race to sign Serbian international Zigic in a possible £6million deal.

The 29-year-old has been linked at various times with a host of Barclays Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Liverpool, Stoke, Blackburn, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Fulham, Everton and Tottenham.

McLeish would only say: "There are irons in the fire. We've been linked with one or two players, we have put in bids for players.

"It would be unfair of me to talk about names at the moment. It would be unfair to the clubs and also to the fans if things don't happen.

"But I think they will be excited about one or two of the names we are pursuing and what we are trying to add to the squad is players of quality."

Zigic has been tipped by Serbian coach Raddy Antic to be one of the stars of the forthcoming World Cup and he has netted 16 times in 42 internationals.

He initially made his name at Red Star Belgrade with 71 goals in 110 games before moving to Santander.

A £15million switch to Valencia three years ago has not been successful as Zigic would have hoped and he even returned to Santander for a loan spell at one stage.

During the current campaign he has scored nine goals in 28 games for Valencia but David Villa was often preferred as the lone striker before his move to Barcelona.

McLeish is also interested in Fulham's Bobby Zamora and is understood to have had an £8million bid for Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia rejected.

But his interest in West Ham's Carlton Cole is understood to have cooled.