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Birmingham keen to grab Hart

Phil Tomlinson in General Soccer News 6 May 2009

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Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is believed to have placed Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart on his wanted list for next season.

McLeish, who has has been under fire at St Andrews, has guided the club back into the Premier league at the first attempt and knows he needs to find a new goalkeeper ahead of their tilt back in the big time.

Maik Taylor, 37, has been a virtual ever present for the Blues in the Championship this season, but the former Fulham man is coming into the latter stages of his career and McLeish is keen to add some youth to his squad.

Colin Doyle is his current number two at Birmingham, but the Cork-born star has made only two league appearances this season and McLeish is unwilling to throw the Irishman in at the deep end.

Hart was the undisputed number one at City until the January arrival of Shay Given fron Newcastle.

The 22-year-old has made 23 league appearances for Mark Hughes’ men, but has not featured since January – after the arrival of the experienced Given.

Hughes has admitted he is keen for Hart to go out on loan to play some first-team football although it’s a safe football bet that he will not allow the former Shrewsbury Town man to leave on a permanent basis.

Hughes rates Hart highly and believes he will develop into England’s number one, so Birmingham will only be able to sign the keeper on a temporary basis. Still City will be looking for a fee in the region of £1million for Hart, with McLeish hoping to tie up a deal for a season-long loan.

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Phil Tomlinson


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