Alex McLeish is set to secure the signing of Spartak Moscow flyer Quincy Owusu-Abeyie on a season long loan with a view to a £3.5 million permanent transfer.
The Birmingham City manager has been tracking the former Arsenal starlet for several weeks and an agent acting for Blues has travelled to Paris to close the deal for the 22-year-old.
The Coca-Cola Championship favourites have agreed personal terms and Owusu-Abeyie could come into the squad for this weekend’s season curtain raiser at home to Sheffield United.
The Dutch-born winger was part of the Arsenal set up until he left in 2006 after struggling to settle. He is expected to play down the left flank and his arrival will give Birmingham one of the most potent attacking line-ups ever seen outside the top flight with Scotland internationals James McFadden and Garry O’Connor challenging former England man Kevin Phillips and ex-Under 21s Cameron Jerome and Marcus Bent.
“Quincy will bring speed to the front line,” said McLeish, who is also hoping to engage the services of Celtic’s Bobo Balde. The centre back is weighing up offers from Blues and Sunderland.
Presently, McLeish has just Liam Ridgewell, Martin Taylor and Radhi Jaidi, who limped off during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham. But McLeish will not be bringing Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher to the club. There had been rumours of a loan deal for the midfielder: “We don’t have money for players like Darren,” McLeish said."
Meanwhile, McFadden has confirmed his commitment to the club. The Scotland international was the subject of a £6m bid from Celtic but he says that until another club comes in, he is concentrating on helping Birmingham regain their top flight status.