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By ESPN Staff

McLeish hopes to extend loan of Djourou

New Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is attempting to keep on-loan Arsenal central defender Johan Djourou for the remainder of the season. Djourou initially joined Blues in the summer with a view to him returning to the Gunners in January. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wanted to keep his options open with Djourou as Kolo Toure will be on African Nations Cup duty. McLeish will try to retain the player and, if that fails, attempt to bring in another centre-back. He told PA Sport: 'Will I try and keep Djourou for the season? I would think that would be a target we would try and achieve. 'I know Arsene is mindful of the fact Toure is needed for the African Nations Cup. It is an obstacle we will have to try and overcome. 'But if we can't do that, we will have to try and look for someone else because we are a little bit light in that department of the team.' McLeish will look to strengthen when the transfer window opens and the former Scotland manager hinted he may look north of the border. He said: 'I would like to bring in trusted players. There is no doubt about that. It just depends if the target is available or if we can afford the target. 'There is no doubt I would like to bring in players I have worked with or players I have seen that I would like to work with. We definitely have things down on paper. 'I would hope to get value for money, I know it can be done and we have to spread the net as far as possible. 'Agents have already been getting in touch with players and already I have a couple in mind I think might be useful.' McLeish admitted: 'Having money to spend will certainly be new to me. There's no doubt about it. 'I'm not sure there will be huge funds in January but, if we can make a fist of it in the Premier League, then next summer will be very interesting. 'But, whatever I get in January, I will make the most of it.' Birmingham skipper Damien Johnson is stepping up his bid for a first team recall after completing a second 90 minutes for the reserves - against Aston Villa - since recovering from a hamstring injury. The Northern Ireland international has started only one game this season, the Carling Cup clash at Blackburn in late September.