Blues close on Hughton appointment

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It is understood Chris Hughton is expected to be confirmed as Birmingham's new manager in the next 24 hours.

Hughton is close to tying up a deal to become Alex McLeish's replacement at St. Andrew's.

The former Newcastle boss is believed to have edged ahead of Roberto Di Matteo in the battle to take charge of Blues.

Hughton has been out of football since parting company with Newcastle after a 3-1 defeat at West Brom in early December despite the Magpies being in mid-table in the Premier League in their first year back in the top flight following promotion.

He has impressed Birmingham acting chairman Peter Pannu when being interviewed during the past few days and City's owner Carson Yeung is expected to ratify Hughton's arrival.

It will be Yeung's first managerial appointment since taking control of Blues during the early part of the 2009-10 campaign.


Hughton will have the task of picking up the pieces at City after McLeish's resignation 10 days ago when he replaced Gerard Houllier as manager of Aston Villa.

Yeung is looking for Blues to regain their Barclays Premier League status at the first attempt as was made clear to McLeish in a statement issued at the end of the season.

Hughton has plenty of experience at Championship level and guided Newcastle to promotion 13 months ago as champions.

He was previously a member of the coaching staff at Tottenham.

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