Bruce denies Kirkland bid
SUNDERLAND boss Steve Bruce has laughed off suggestions he is about to bid £5m for Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland.

Bruce admits he is a “big, big admirer” of the England keeper, who played under him at the DW Stadium before his switch to the Black Cats.

“Talk of me bidding £5m for Chris Kirkland is garbage but he is a very good goalkeeper and I'm a big, big admirer of him,” Bruce said.

Strachan raid on his old Bhoys
MIDDLESBROUGH boss Gordon Strachan is closing in on a four-pronged raid on former club Celtic.

Strachan has agreed fees to sign defender Gary Caldwell and midfielder Barry Robson, who are both out of contract at Celtic Park in the summer, while initial loan deals are also being discussed for midfielder Willo Flood and striker Chris Killen. Strachan is also in the hunt for talented Rangers frontman Kris Boyd.

Celtic, meanwhile, have signed Dutch defender Jos Hooiveld from AIK?Stockholm on a three-and-a-half-year deal, for a fee of around £2m.

McLeish is feeling Blue
BIRMINGHAM boss Alex McLeish believes his side have become victims of their own success.

McLeish has been promised £40m to spend in the January transfer window but has already seen moves for Sunderland’s Kenwyne Jones and German international Kevin Kuranyi collapse due to inflated prices.

“This is a problem for me,” the Scot said. “If Birmingham keep improving we’re going to have to bring in players – wages will increase, players already here will want higher wages and new contracts. It’s a natural evolution.”