Nigel Quashie’s one Christmas wish this year involves Alex McLeish.
Whether it also requires the Birmingham City manager to wear a Santa suit while bellowing ‘ho, ho, ho’ is by the by, but Quashie certainly wants him to answer his festive call.
McLeish doesn’t have to worry about the wrapping paper, ribbons and pretty gift tags, either, because the midfielder just wants the Scotsman to present him with a piece of paper that gives details of a new Birmingham deal – and a permanent one, at that.
Quashie is in no doubt when asked if he wants to become a permanent member of McLeish’s promotion-chasing squad; in fact ‘I couldn’t ask for anymore in my life’ was exactly how the ex-West Bromwich Albion midfield player passionately expressed his commitment to the Blues’ cause.
The former Scotland international has gone from strength to strength, both physically and mentally, since he first linked up with Birmingham in September.
Having initially arrived just for training purposes, Quashie is now halfway through his second consecutive one-month loan deal from West Ham United.
The 30-year-old’s return to the West Midlands has helped heal the mental scars from the well-documented death of his mother, Caroline, through cancer and helped rebuild his physical fitness following a career-threatening ankle injury.
With his girlfriend and young son already based in Birmingham, he’s found a new lease of life, both on and off the football field.
Quashie’s current loan deal takes him up until December 30 but he doesn’t want his St Andrew’s rehabilitation to end there
“If I could sign here, then I couldn’t ask for anymore in my life,” said Quashie. “I’m 30 years of age, I’ve had a fantastic career and I’ve really enjoyed football, but I’ve always grown up to realise that football doesn’t owe you anything, it has given me an opportunity to enjoy my life.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to come to Birmingham because I think it will be a new start for me, especially with everything I’ve been through.
“I’ve got two years left at West Ham and I can’t thank both sides enough for how they’ve handled me. Birmingham would be brilliant for me, I’ve really enjoyed it, if I could sign here, then I would sign here, no hesitation.
“I owe Birmingham a lot just for giving me an opportunity to put difficult things aside. I wouldn’t even blink at it, I would go straight away.
“I’m really happy with how things are going and I wouldn’t change anything, if I could come to Birmingham then I’d come straight away. Playing for Birmingham is what I want to do.”
It’s over to you, Saint Nick.
Meanwhile, the agent of two teenage footballers from the Czech Republic has claimed that Birmingham have been in contact about their services.
Left-back Milan Misun, aged 18, and 16-year-old striker Antonin Fantis, who both play for Czech first division side FK Pribram, spent last week on trial at Scottish Premier League giants Celtic.
However the duo’s agent, Ondrej Chovanec, has claimed that Birmingham have since contacted him to enquire about the youngsters’ plans for the future.
“Birmingham representatives called me on Monday afternoon and asked if they were going to Celtic or not,” said Chovanec. “In winter, they want to strengthen their team as they want to gain promotion to the Premier League.”
If Chovanec’s claims are true, then Birmingham are in esteemed company as FC Copenhagen and AC Milan are also said to be tracking Misun and Fantis.