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Chelsea out to maul Black Cats

Chelsea 21 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Dec 10, 2009

Blues chase Novak, not Van Nistelrooy and Dzeko

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is set to hold talks with Slovakia striker Jan Novak to see if there is any possibility of signing the player from MFK Kosice next month.

McLeish has ruled out any chance of signing Real Madrid's Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wolfsburg's Edin Dzeko as he looks to bring in new fire-power next month, but Novak has been training with the Blues during the past few days and the 24-year-old, who would cost around £2 million, has impressed.

McLeish said: "Novak has been training with us this week. It is difficult to get a real good look at him because you don't get the chance to see him in a game situation.

"But he has showed up quite well in training. We will have a chat. I don't know what the way forward is regarding his contract. It has just been an opportunity to bring him in and have a look.

"He has a decent enough record at a good level. His form is good and he is going to the World Cup. It is a player we will talk to over the next couple of days about what the possibilities are.

"People say the fee mentioned to sign him is £2 million and it is not a lot of money for Premier League players if you feel they are good enough for the Premier League. That would be in the bargain category but there is nothing been done yet.

"I am speaking to his advisors and will be able to tell you more next week. It is only a first look. It has come out of nowhere really. We weren't actively looking at Novak over the last couple of months or something like that."

McLeish has also been linked with Van Nistelrooy who has slipped down the pecking order at the Bernabeu.

He said: "Ruud is at the type of age (33) where I need certain type of players playing in this team that are going to be running about and closing people down and tracking back.

"Ruud, with the kind of level he has been in his career, might not see himself going down from a club like Real Madrid to Birmingham."

McLeish had monitored Dzeko but concedes the kind of fee Wolfsburg would require should they want to sell the player would be out of City's price range.

He said: "There are a couple we considered and we realised were a bridge too far and, for people like Dzeko, it would totally break the bank. In any case, I think Dzeko's sights are on going to a bigger club."

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