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By ESPN Staff

Blues to clear Bruce for Wigan talks

Birmingham's board of directors are expected to pave the way for manager Steve Bruce's departure to Wigan Atheltic at a hastily convened board meeting on Friday afternoon.

Chairman David Gold and co-owner David Sullivan are set to grant the Latics permission to talk to Bruce after he has indicated he is keen to move to the JJB Stadium following the uncertainty surrounding the midlands club.

Blues are not expected to make any official statement until the meeting has been held at Sullivan's mansion in Essex.

But sources close to the board indicate Sullivan, Gold and managing director Karren Brady feel they have a moral obligation to at least allow Bruce to talk to the Latics supremo Dave Whelan.

The are aware that Bruce's future is in limbo after prospective new owner Carson Yeung declined to rubberstamp the new contract he had agreed with Sullivan and Gold six months ago.

A compensation package of around £3million for the remaining 19 months of Bruce's contract will not be a stumbling block.

But the timing of the departure of Bruce's assistant Eric Black will have to be thrashed out as City will need an experienced man at the helm until they find a new manager.

Sullivan and Gold are also set to discuss the proposed takeover by Yeung and they are expected to take a hard-line stance after the Hong Kong businessman indicated he wanted an extension to the December 20 deadline set to take control of the club.

Yeung bought a 29.9% stake in Blues for £15 million in July but is now asking for more time to raise the additional £35 to £40 million needed to buy out Sullivan and Gold.

It could mean Sullivan and Gold decide to pull the plug on the proposed deal sooner than later rather than see it drag on into the New Year.

They are aware even more uncertainty - which has already contributed to them losing Bruce's services - could further damage the club's hopes of surviving in the Premier League.