Birmingham target Spurs hitman after Babel rejects McLeish
Published 16:09 13/01/10 By James Nursey Exclusive
Birmingham want Roman Pavlyuchenko but their move for Ryan Babel is dead after the Dutchman steadfastly refused to switch to St Andrews.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was willing to accept a £10million bid for Babel from ambitious Birmingham.
City went back in for the versatile attacker after having an initial £9m offer turned down.
And Benitez would have sold Babel as he wants to recoup most of the £11.5m paid to Ajax for the ace in July 2007.
But Babel, 23, has outright refused to move to promoted City.
Babel’s stance is a blow to Brum owner Carson Yeung who is anxious to land a big-name this month.
City boss Alex McLeish has already refused to sanction a £14m move for Sunderland’s Kenwyne Jones as he believes the overall package is too much.
Birmingham are now plotting a move for Spurs’ Russian outcast Pavlyuchenko.
McLeish wants a burly forward to hold the ball up better and sees Pavlyuchenko,28, as an ideal target.
Brum are willing to pay up to £10m for the striker, who Spurs bought from Spartak Moscow in August 2008 for £13.8m.
Lens forward Aruna Dindane, on loan at Portsmouth, is another possible option upfront if he leaves the cash-strapped Fratton Park club.