Birmingham City quickly got over the disappointment of not being able to meet Kris Boyd’s wage demands by announcing the loan capture of Hameur Bouazza until the end of the season.
Just hours after Alex McLeish admitted defeat in his pursuit of highly-rated Rangers striker Boyd, the Birmingham manager was able to deliver good news.
Fulham left winger Bouazza will be in contention for Birmingham’s trip to Blackpool tomorrow alongside fellow loan signing Scott Sinclair.
Bouazza, a 23-year-old Algeria international, has been on loan at Charlton Athletic since the start of the season and leaves The Valley having made 27 appearances, scoring four goals.
The French-born wide player started his professional career at Watford but joined Fulham for £3million in August 2007 following the Hornets’ relegation from the Premier League.
Having found first-team opportunities limited at Craven Cottage, Bouazza opted for a temporary move to Charlton.
Bouazza would have caught McLeish’s eye for right and wrong reasons in his last two appearances at St Andrew’s.
Last season, while with Fulham, he was sent off in the 1-1 draw with Birmingham but upon his return to B9 this campaign, with Charlton, he scored a impressive strike during the visitors’ 3-2 defeat in November.
McLeish insisted he was aware of Bouazza before then having kept tabs on him during his time in Scotland.
“I’ve looked at him for a couple of years now and I had him on the radar at Rangers,” said McLeish. “I thought he was a promising young player; quick, direct, knows the English system and can do a job when teamwork is required.
“He has done very well at Charlton. It was made clear to me that there was a clause that would allow him to move in January.
“I know Charlton probably feel aggrieved at it but we’ve done nothing wrong.”
Birmingham will be without the suspended duo of defender David Murphy and midfielder Keith Fahey for tomorrow’s journey to Bloomfield Road while Sebastian Larsson (groin) joins long-term absentee Garry O’Connor (groin) on the injury list.
A familiar face could be set to line up against Birmingham tomorrow after Blackpool announced the loan signing of the Leicester City striker DJ Campbell yesterday.
Campbell, 27, joined Birmingham for an initial £500,000 fee in January 2006 from Brentford before going on to make 50 appearances and score 12 goals during an 18-month spell at St Andrew’s.
Meanwhile McLeish has admitted that the ball is firmly in Lee Bowyer’s court as to whether the West Ham United midfielder wants to join Birmingham.
The former England international has held talks with the club.
He has also been shown around the club’s Wast Hills training facility, a meeting that was positive according to McLeish.
Now the Scotsman is waiting to see whether Bowyer, 32, waits for other suitors to come forward or opts to head to St Andrew’s.
“We had talks with Lee and we’re now waiting for an answer,” said McLeish.
“I think Lee was pretty receptive with the plans I have for the team for the second half of the season and beyond and he’s a player I’ve always admired.
“Roy Aitken, my assistant, has worked with him (at Leeds United) and knows him as an attacking midfielder but he also knows that Lee can give a lot to the team as well.
“He’s a bit of a dynamic player and I want to bring a dynamic look back to the team.
“I think we now have an understanding with West Ham and it would now be up to Lee if he fancies the challenge.”