Chase the ace - African star eyes Premier League return

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Fresh from their midweek triumph Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish wants to use the upcoming Carling Cup final as a springboard to attract bigger names to St Andrews, and is hoping to complete some business in the next few days.

So far it has been a frustrating transfer window for McLeish who has failed in a number of attempts to bring in a striker to bolster the Blues front line.

First Robbie Keane failed to agree personal terms with the Blues then Kenny Miller opted for a move to Turkey with Bursaspor rather than reuniting with his former Rangers manager.

But McLeish has now set his sights on former Newcastle United striker and Nigeria international Obafemi Martins, and will be looking to bring him in on loan for the rest of the season.


Since departing St James’ Park, Martins has struggled for form and failed to settle at either Wolfsburg where he moved to from Newcastle for £9million, or his current club Rubin Kazan.

Sources close to the player say he would favour a move back to England and the Premier League, so Birmingham would be an appealing option for the 26-year-old striker who scored 28 goals in 88 games for the Magpies.

Speaking after Birmingham’s victory over West Ham on Wednesday, McLeish emphasised the need for more firepower at St Andrews and remained positive about his future at the club.

"We've drawn 11 games in the Premier League and that's been our downfall.

“I'm not invulnerable. I have to get results. We just have not scored enough goals but this [win over West Ham] might give the lads extra motivation to start getting goals."

Blues owners have been reportedly unhappy with inconsistent performances in the Barclays Premier League this season and McLeish has been publicly criticised by Birmingham chief executive Peter Pannu in regards to some of his previous signings.

But now that the Glaswegian has taken the Blues to their first cup final in 55 years, an achievement cited as “one of the proudest moments of my career,” surely he will be given more time, and money in a bid to take Birmingham forward.

Premier League
Obafemi Martins
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