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BIRMINGHAM and Newcastle will fight it out over £4million Madjid Bougherra — but only if Rangers LOSE the SPL title.

Cash-starved Gers will have to sell some stars if they don’t pip Celtic to the crown.

The Ibrox club are desperate for the £15million passport direct into the Champions League that comes with the title.

And if they don’t get it, Algerian ace Bougherra will be high on the list of potential summer departures.

Newcastle were keen on the stopper, 26, during the January transfer window and they still want him.

They would only move if they keep their Premiership status — while Birmingham will only bid if they go up.

Former Gers gaffer Alex McLeish needs a win at Reading on Sunday to guarantee an instant return to the top flight.

But it’s understood Bougherra is high on his wish list should he lead City into the cash-rich Premiership.

French championship pacesetters Marseille have also had the ex-Charlton star watched this season.

But Bougherra would prefer to stay in Britain as he believes his style of play is better suited to the game here.

Fresh doubts over the player’s long-term future were raised after the Scottish Cup semi-final win over St Mirren on Saturday.

Speaking in a radio interview, he appeared to hint that he’d leave if Gers didn’t win the title. Those remarks were subsequently retracted in a statement on the club’s website.

Bougherra said: “I have to say to the fans that I have no intention of leaving.”

SunSport understands he is committed to Walter Smith’s side and is happy to stay for the long haul.

He wants to sample the Champions League with Gers and is keen to plant roots in Glasgow after several moves over the past five years.

But it’s believed he’s also aware that he is likely to be sold if Gers miss out on the financial bonus of direct entry to the Champions League.

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All this speculation about Bougherra is getting on my tits. I don't for a minute think he wants to leave, however if he does, he isnt irreplaceable, no one is.

All i'm concentrating on his the big man helping us win this league back.

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I would prefer him to stay, but if the bidding were up near the £8m mark, I think I would take it.

*Money fully gets invested back into the squad and I fully trust Smith to buy CB's (every other position, no way), we would need 3 (+ young Wilson) if Bougherra goes and we need rid of Weir Webster Dailly and Broadfoot, none are good enough.

*Only if we win the league though.

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