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By ESPN Staff

McLeish hopeful of Dembele, Camoranesi talks

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is optimistic of winning the battle to sign AZ Alkmaar striker Moussa Dembele in a £5 million transfer - while Mauro Camoranesi is due to arrive for talks.

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Birmingham are facing competition from local rivals West Brom for the player but McLeish received a positive response when holding talks with Dembele's agent.

McLeish said: "I had good vibes from the agent when I met him. Dembele is a quality player but I never like talking about potential signings until the deal is done.''

Juventus midfielder Camoranesi also remains on McLeish's radar and is due to have talks in Birmingham on Monday. The 33-year-old is available on a free transfer. His agent, Vlado Borozan, said: "Let's just say that we will be in England to work out the final details and that we are already on the right path.''

• Birmingham striker Kevin Phillips has been ruled out for a "considerable period'' with a torn thigh muscle. Veteran forward Phillips suffered the problem in Saturday's friendly defeat by Real Mallorca.

Manager Alex McLeish said: "Kevin has torn his thigh muscle and will be out for a while - it will be a considerable period. But he is a notoriously quick healer so anything will be a bonus.''

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