Hleb off to Birmingham as McLeish makes moves in transfer market
After missing out on Charles N’Zogbia and Moussa Dembele, Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has been busy on transfer deadline day and has snapped up ex-Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Alexander Hleb on a season long loan.
Hleb joins Martin Jiranek and Jean Beausejour as deadline day signings and McLeish hopes he can also persuade Armand Traore to join from Arsenal in a season-long loan but is facing stiff competition from Juventus.
Hleb has struggled to break into the Barcelona team since his move in 2008 and spent the best part of last season on loan with Stuttgart but McLeish has managed to snare the Belarusian and hopes he will add some flair to his Birmingham midfield.
McLeish has also tempted Spartak Moscow captain Jiranek to St Andrews and the experienced defender, who can play centre-half or left-back, will add some strength to the Birmingham defence as they look to challenge for a European spot.
Birmingham have had an offer accepted for Chilean forward Beausejour and he is expected to finalise his £4m move from Club America today after the Blues have already secured a work permit for the forward who was impressive in Chile’s World Cup campaign.
Brum fans will be hoping that McLeish’s activity in the transfer market will spur the club on as they target a European spot, although a Champions League spot may be out of reach, they can be backed at 40/1 to make it.
Meanwhile, the Blues’ Marcus Bent has made the move across Birmingham, joining Wolves on a four-month loan deal in a search for first-team football.
Alex McLeish has made some strong additions to his squad as Birmingham look to improve on last season’s ninth. See the full Barclays Premier League betting market here.