Blues suffer Traore setback

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Arsene Wenger has dashed Birmingham's hopes of signing Arsenal left-back Armand Traore on loan in time for the opening Barclays Premier League game of the season at Manchester United.

Blues boss Alex McLeish has been tracking Traore for several weeks in the hope that Wenger would allow him to move to St Andrews, but Wenger will not decide whether or not to allow Traore to leave until the end of the August transfer window.

McLeish said: "I've had a response from Arsene and it is not positive because he is going to keep Traore in the meantime and won't make a decision on him until the end of the transfer window."

He added: "I have to put the feelers out now and try and bring a left-back in because I have been playing right-footed people there, like Stuart Parnaby and Jared Wilson, which is not fair.

"Will I go back in for Traore? I'm not saying I won't go back to him. It is possible but depends what happens between now and the end of August."

McLeish is still interested in Spanish midfielder Michel although he insists no talks have taken place regarding a deal for the Sporting Dijon midfielder.

McLeish will have an opportunity to watch the player first-hand on Saturday when Sporting face Birmingham in a friendly at St Andrews.

McLeish said: "I've watched the guy. I don't think that's any secret. But there is nothing cast in stone with anybody yet.

"It's not cut and dried that the board will give me money for that deal but we do need an injection of players in certain positions."

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Armand Traore
Premier League
Manchester United
Jared Wilson
Stuart Parnaby

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