Birmingham boss Steve Bruce is eyeing Manchester City striker Darius Vassell as an early potential target for the January transfer window.
Vassell’s days at Eastlands appear to be numbered after slipping down the pecking order since the arrival of Sven-Goran Eriksson who managed him at England level where he won 22 caps.
Bruce was trying to bring in a new striker right up until the August transfer window closed 10 days ago and former Monaco player Mohammed Kallon is currently training with the club.
Vassell previously played for Villa but central defender Liam Ridgewell has made the switch across the city to Blues this summer with no antagonism from supporters.
Real Madrid midfielder Esterban Granero, currently on loan at Getafe, is also being monitored by Bruce.
Birmingham chairman David Gold said: "Steve is looking for players that will shortly be out of contract and there are a few on his list.
"I don’t know everybody who is on his list but when it’s time to spend the money, Steve will come to the club owners and say ’I think this player would strengthen my squad."’
Bruce brought in a dozen players during the summer but has only spent a net #7 million in revamping the squad which gained promotion back to the Barclays Premiership in May.
He may also also consider allowing fringe players such as striker Rowan Vine and midfielder Neil Danns to go out on loan because of a lack of first-team opportunities.
Gold said: "I think Steve is keen to keep the guys together but at the same time it is difficult to keep everyone happy. If Championship clubs come in, maybe he would consider short-term loans."