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By ESPN Staff

Birmingham to make improved offer for McFadden

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is weighing up whether to make improved bids for Everton striker James McFadden and Hibernian left-back David Murphy.

Blues had a £2.5 million offer rejected for McFadden and a similar response met their £1 million bid for Murphy.

McLeish, who also confirmed his interest in Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras, is determined to bring in players of proven quality during January.

But he is not expecting any concrete news before City take on Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

McLeish, who has been promised financial backing by chairman David Gold and co-owner David Sullivan, said: 'I can confirm that we have had bids rejected for McFadden and Murphy.

'Will I go back in for McFadden and Murphy? We will have a think about things. I am in daily discussions with the two Davids (Sullivan and Gold) and Karren Brady (managing director). We will certainly try and do something, yes.

'There is also an interest in Samaras. We will be pushing on with one or two things.

'But I don't want to bring anyone in just to fill up the numbers in the squad. I could do that and then I would regret that further down the line and say we are no farther forward.

'I want to bring in players I feel I can move forward with. I don't expect anyone to be in by kick-off time on Saturday.'

McLeish has joined other managers, including his predecessor at Birmingham, Steve Bruce, in voicing his displeasure at the January transfer window.

He said: 'I think the January window is horrendous and bad for football because it is pushing prices up. People can hold guns to your head in terms of prices nowadays.

'It is a restriction on free trade. I believe it is bad for football. It should go back to like it was before, until the end of March when you had the transfer dead-line.

'I certainly feel when teams are scrambling to avoid relegation, and the price to stay up is so astronomical, that one or two teams will push the boat out - and there is no guarantee whoever you bring in that you can keep your head above water.

'Someday, some team is going to get stung spending £20-£30 million in the January window - unless it is Manchester United.'