McLeish prioritises new keeper

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish has admitted that he needs to recruit a top-class goalkeeper for next season if Joe Hart does not remain at St Andrew's.

Hart has excelled during a season-long loan stay from Manchester City, but could head back to Eastlands in the summer despite McLeish being keen on a permanent deal.

He told the Birmingham Mail:"It is an important position for us.

"We will either try and do a Joe Hart situation again, a loan, or will have to pay a few bob for someone.

"We have to make sure we get a keeper who gives us the stature Joe Hart has this season."

Meanwhile, Blues midfielder Barry Ferguson is keen to extend his stay with City after enjoying a fine first season in the Midlands following a move from SPL champions Rangers.

He commented:"I think it could be the start of good times here at Birmingham. I want to be part of it for as long as I can.

"I've got another year left here on my current contract, but I am sure I can play for another two to three years.

"I'm really enjoying myself at Birmingham and I'd love to finish my career here, but obviously I'd like the manager to get his contract sorted out (first).

"Then hopefully, if he gets the backing, it could be good times ahead for Birmingham. You can see what the manager has done this year with a limited budget and limited resources."

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