Birmingham City have turned their attention to one of Liverpool's Champions' League heroes after becoming increasingly frustrated in their attempts to sign Chelsea midfielder Scott Parker.
Blues manager Steve Bruce has identified Vladimir Smicer - out of contract at Anfield - as a possible alternative to Parker, who is being chased by a number of Premiership clubs including Everton, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Tottenham.
Mikael Forssell and Parker were Birmingham's top transfer targets this summer but the Finnish striker seems poised to join Everton, who can offer Champions' League football, and Parker could well follow suit.
Consequently, Bruce has started eyeing other possible targets and Smicer's heroics in Liverpool's memorable comeback against AC Milan in Istanbul last week have alerted the St Andrew's hierarchy to his availability.
The 32-year-old Czech, who scored Liverpool's second goal in Turkey, is available on a free transfer and is keen to stay in England - but Blues could face competition from Premiership rivals Charlton.
Smicer said: "Charlton and Birmingham are interested. Lens and Bordeaux have the same interest but I have to admit my family prefer to stay in England."
Birmingham have reportedly offered Smicer - who joined Liverpool six years ago from Lens - a two-year contract worth £20,000 a week.