Birmingham City’s attempts to sign Derby County midfielder Stephen Pearson look to be over after the Scotland international rejected a proposed loan move.
The deal looked on after the two clubs agreed a fee for the 25-year-old, who played for Blues boss Alex McLeish when he was in charge of the Scottish national team. Pearson had also agreed personal terms.
Blues then pulled back on the deal after a medical showed the left-sided player had a groin injury. McLeish decided he wanted to bring Pearson to St Andrew’s initially on loan with a view to a permanent deal, believed to be worth around £600,000, once Pearson had proved his fitness.
However, reports from Pride Park said Pearson had rejected the loan offer, leaving his move to St Andrew’s in limbo. He is now back with the Rams undergoing treatment for the injury and McLeish could look elsewhere for a replacement for the departed Olivier Kapo.
A similar injury has delayed Blues’ move for Dutch midfielder Kemy Agustien. McLeish has made it known he is interested in bringing the AZ Alkmaar player to St Andrew’s and a loan agreement has been reached but the player also has a groin injury.
McLeish has decided not to follow up his interest in defender Yamoudou Camara, who has been on tour with the squad, while Zola Matumona is also unlikely to join Blues because of permit problems.
Blues are back from their ten-day tour of Austria and will face Gillingham at The Priestfield Stadium on Saturday as they step up their preparations on home soil. However, their return trip was not without incident.
A strike by Lufthansa pilots meant their flight from Munich was cancelled but they quickly made arrangements to fly to Heathrow instead of Birmingham to avoid a further night abroad.
However, McLeish said the whole trip, which included three friendly victories, was a massive success in terms of building team spirit within the camp.
He said: “It was a very good trip. The results were not the most important things in the grand scheme of it because we are looking for the results when it comes round to competition-time.
“But the wins we had were good from a confidence point of view and they were against a couple of decent teams. They’re at the fitness stage and the good thing about the tour was to integrate the staff as well as you probably wouldn’t have got that at home as they all go their own ways after training and are not around one another.
“You can go stir-crazy as well when you are away, and the boys were ready to leave by the end, ten days was enough. But facility-wise the hotel was excellent, the food, the staff were excellent. There was a slick operation.”
FC Brussels midfielder Matumona, a Congo international, has been on trial, but McLeish concedes that obtaining a work permit for the 26-year-old appears unlikely. “It’s a shame because he would have been a skilful addition to the squad,” he said.