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Boyd remains priority target on McLeish’s City wishlist

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Alex McLeish will make another attempt to sign Kris Boyd in the summer, regardless of whether Birmingham City are playing in the Coca-Cola Championship or the Barclays Premier League.

In an exclusive interview with The Herald, McLeish reiterated his admiration for the Rangers striker despite Boyd failing to agree personal terms when Birmingham's £3m bid was accepted in January.

Birmingham occupy the second automatic promotion spot in the Championship with seven league games remaining and Boyd is a priority target, irrespective of what division the Midlands club will be playing in next season.

Boyd's future is almost certainly away from Ibrox at the end of the season.

He was sent home from training by Walter Smith for showing a poor attitude in the build-up to the Old Firm Co-operative Insurance Cup defeat at Hampden and despite scoring 95 goals since McLeish signed him from Kilmarnock for £400,000 in 2006, he has been habitually left out of big games by the Rangers manager.

The latest dent to his pride may have effected a change of heart on his future plans. "I wouldn't rule out working with Kris Boyd again," McLeish said. "I couldn't rule it out, him being a part of my squad in future.

"We tried to go for him in January and I am really surprised he couldn't finish the deal. I got the feeling he didn't want to leave Rangers. I don't know if that has changed but I thought it was a good opportunity for him to come to England with a view to playing in the Premier League."

McLeish is an unashamed fan of Boyd's predatory talents. He understands the tactical dilemma that has prompted Smith to omit him from Rangers' most demanding games in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and in Europe and cited even more illustrious examples of natural-born strikers, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba at Chelsea, who are unable or unwilling to take their share of defensive responsibilities.

McLeish also confounded the popular conception that Boyd, with his dour demeanour, was a troublemaker after spats with Paul Le Guen, George Burley and now Smith. "I don't think he is problematic," McLeish said, defensively.

"Sometimes I didn't play him away from home. I can understand Walter because a lot of teams, especially in Europe, play three in the middle and if you don't match up then very often, you can get your a**e felt.

"Fabio Capello, as England manager, has been prone to doing that. I found it difficult getting strikers to work back to deep-lying midfielders. They don't like to do it. It was a problem for Luiz Felipe Scolari and even Guus Hiddink said they Anelka and Drogba are two great strikers but that he must get them to think about their defensive job.

"That maybe explains why Boyd has been in and out at Rangers. He understands it but also knows his worth and if he is playing in the right circumstances, he will get goals."


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good ,and take your moany wee pus barry with yeh.

Eck has fallen out wi that munter Brady that runs the club. Promotion or not I doubt he'll be there next year, which is a shame, because it means Boyd will likely still be here. No one else seems to want to buy him.

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