McLeish admits Koller bid

Blues boss disappointed to miss out on striker

Koller: Chose Russia over St Andrews

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Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has revealed that he tried to sign Czech Republic international Jan Koller.

The giant striker opted to leave Nurnberg for Russian side Krylya Sovetov Samara on Monday in a deal reported to be worth £40,000-a-week.

Koller's agent Pavel Paska claimed last week that Birmingham were also interested and McLeish has now confirmed that he did make an approach.

Blues agreed a fee with Nurnberg as McLeish looked to bring in Koller as a direct replacement for Mikael Forssell, who joined Hannover at the end of the season.

McLeish believes Koller would have enjoyed a great deal of success in the Championship and admits it is disappointing to have missed out on the 35-year-old.

"We did try for Jan Koller, we showed our ambition and intention there," McLeish told the Birmingham Mail. "But he chose a massive offer in Russia, which we couldn't compete with.

"There was no doubt we would never have got Koller five, six years ago. We would never have attempted to.

"It's only now that he's in the twilight of his career that a club like ours, where we are at the moment, could offer him something."

Big presence

McLeish insists that he moved for Koller before he impressed for Czech Republic at Euro 2008.

He said: "We actually made the approach before the European Championships.

"They wanted to wait until it was over and, to be fair to the big fella, he had a half-decent tournament.

"He scored a goal and caused Turkey no end of problems in the game they came back sensationally to win. We just felt that we needed something different up front, and he was available.

"We know that Garry O'Connor is a big presence but he's slightly different, quite a technical player.

"He's good with both feet and half-decent in the air.

"Koller maybe would have allowed us to get up the pitch and support, and caused a lot of trouble with his size and physique."