Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Blues to step up Miller pursuit

Kenny Miller

Birmingham will step up their pursuit of Rangers forward Kenny Miller and other targets after confirming they had ended their interest in signing Tottenham striker Robbie Keane.

Blues had agreed a £6million fee with Spurs for the Republic of Ireland international but the move collapsed on Monday, with the Midlands side releasing a statement saying it "would not be in the best financial interests of the club" to press on.

Birmingham's acting chairman Peter Pannu told the club's official website www.bcfc.com: "I met with Alex McLeish and chief scout Paul Montgomery to discuss some new targets - names that we will not be mentioning at this moment in time - as we have decided that the signing of Keane would not be in the best financial interests of the club."

He added: "Everyone knows he is a tremendous player but, having considered the overall package (one which certainly wasn't unfair on the part of his representatives to ask for given his talent and experience), Keane's age and the length of contract we felt that financially he wasn't the best option available.

"This is unfortunate because Keane is a class act but supporters can rest assured we are considering other options and will pursue them where financially viable."

Those "other options" include Scotland international Miller, who could move to St Andrew's in a deal rising from an initial £600,000 to £1.1million.

Miller has also been the subject of an offer from Fiorentina but Birmingham sources indicate the player is edging nearer to being reunited with his former Scotland manager McLeish.

McLeish has continually cited a lack of firepower as the main reason for City being in a relegation battle after finishing ninth in the Barclays Premier League last season.

He is aware of the need for that weakness to be rectified before the end of the campaign, with midfielder Craig Gardner their leading marksman with just five goals.

For Keane, the search for a new club goes on with playing time increasingly hard to come by at White Hart Lane. The Irishman has started just two games all season for the north Londoners.

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