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By ESPN Staff
Nov 26, 2007

Birmingham to seek McLeish talks

Birmingham City are to make an official approach to the Scottish FA for permission to speak to Alex McLeish about succeeding Steve Bruce as manager.

And sources close to City are optimistic McLeish could take over at St Andrews within the next 48 hours and certainly before Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at Tottenham.

City will have to pay around £1million in compensation to acquire the services of McLeish, who saw Scotland fall at the final hurdle in their bid to reach the Euro 2008 finals by losing at home to Italy.

But that would not be a major hurdle as they received £3million compensation from Wigan after agreeing to allow Bruce to leave with 19 months of his contract remaining.

And it is understood McLeish would more than double his current basic annual salary of around £350,000 if the move to Birmingham goes through.

Birmingham's bid to land McLeish will now gather momentum following his return from the 2010 World Cup draw in South Africa on Sunday.

McLeish appears to have now moved ahead of current assistant manager Eric Black in the race to replace Bruce.

Black was in charge of Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Portsmouth and held talks with the Blues board after the game when he was given no guarantee about whether he would be offered the job.

McLeish and Black were team-mates at Aberdeen but it is likely the latter would join Bruce at Wigan rather than remaining as second in command at Blues.

Instead, former Aston Villa number two Roy Aitken would be expected to follow McLeish from the Scotland set up to Birmingham.

Blues are also determined to find out once and for all whether prospective new owner Carson Yeung can raise the funds to buy out current chairman David Gold and co-owner David Sullivan.

Yeung has until Friday to convince the long-serving duo he can come up with the £35million required for the takeover by the December 20 deadline set by Sullivan.

Gold claimed over the weekend that the chances of Hong Kong businessman Yeung taking control were 'diminishing.'