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Ranking Africa's Premier League flops

Football
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By ESPN Staff

Transfer talk unsettling Upson, claims Bruce

Birmingham boss Steve Bruce admits central defender Matthew Upson has been affected by speculation linking him with a move away from St Andrews.

But Bruce believes clubs will monitor Upson's progress over the next few months after his lengthy injury lay-off before making a bid for the England player in the summer.

The Blues chief decided to play £6 million Upson in Saturday's FA Cup tie with Newcastle.

He said: 'I think this transfer talk is affecting Matty - the talk and everything that goes with it.

'Matty is concentrating on playing football but all this must be turning his head. It's constant and it's only January 8.

'I must have read he is going to 12 different clubs and I haven't had a single phone call.

'There has not been one inquiry. Not one manager has rung me about Matthew Upson. No chairman has been in touch.'

Bruce added: 'I don't think it makes any difference if people are cup-tied or not these days. Matty's price won't go down between now and the summer.

'If he is worth £6 million now, he is going to be worth £6 million in the summer.

'The big clubs usually do business in the summer. People act now out of panic. Of course, if Chelsea who come in and offer £10 million tomorrow, we know what the score is.

'But most clubs, especially the big ones, will look at Matt's situation and think 'hang on a minute, he's just recovered from a long injury' and they will be monitoring his progress over the next two or three months.

'If they are going to spend big money they will want to make sure he is 100% fit. Matt's mind-set is he just wants to play.'