Birmingham City are leading the chase for David Murphy's signature after finally reaching an agreement with Hibernian.

It is believed a deal in principle has been agreed between the two clubs after the Blues failed with two previous bids for the highly-rated left-back. However, reports that a move would earn the Easter Road club around £2.4million are wide of the mark, with the fee believed to be less than £2million.

Murphy is now free to hold talks with Birmingham and the next move is down to him and his agent.  Blues boss Alex McLeish is keen to have the 23-year-old on board as soon as possible and would ideally like to have him in place for this weekend's clash with Chelsea.

However, he could face competition from Wigan and Bolton after reports today suggested the Lancashire duo have also joined the race for Murphy, although neither have had a bid accepted by Hibs.

McLeish is also keen to land Everton's Scotland international James McFadden in a further bid to bolster his squad, while Aston Villa defender Gary Cahill is another target.