Football

McLeish plans Birmingham overhaul

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Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is set to reshape his squad in the summer with "significant" additions and "eight or nine players likely to leave" - according to the club's chief executive Michael Dunford.

McLeish only managed to bring in playmaker Michel from Sporting Gijon and midfielder Craig Gardner from Aston Villa during the January transfer window. But Dunford predicts the former Scotland boss will be busy with ins and outs from St Andrew's when the window reopens in four months' time.

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He said: "I expect it to be quite a busy summer. We will gear ourselves up for what I'm sure will be significant transfer movement in the summer."

He added: "There are also eight or nine players likely to be leaving the club which means from a numerical point of view, we need new players of quality to supplement the ones we have got as well."

McLeish has already allowed central defender Martin Taylor and former skipper Damien Johnson to leave on free transfers to Watford and Plymouth respectively while wide player Gary McSheffrey has joined Leeds on loan.

Several players are out of contract in the summer, including current first-teamer regulars Liam Ridgewell and Sebastian Larsson plus Lee Carsley, Garry O'Connor, Stuart Parnaby, Franck Queudrue, Maik Taylor and Gregory Vignal.

McLeish has indicated he would like to keep some of those players and Blues have options which means they can extend the deals of several of them should they so desire.

The former Rangers boss is hoping his squad will have recharged their batteries for Sunday's home derby with Wolves, having given them time off this week to recuperate from their heavy recent schedule.

He said: "We did our away stint as a group recently with the warm weather training abroad and this time off was for them to spend some quality time with their families.

"It's been a case of trying to rest the minds as much as the physical side and I thought some of the players looked a little tired against Tottenham last weekend.

"We are hoping they will be ready to go again on Sunday. The coming weeks are going to be interesting because we've got some games against teams fighting for their lives at the bottom of the league and desperate for points."

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Topics:
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Premier League
Birmingham

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