Blues' Stendardo bid fails

McLeish keen to sign defender in January transfer window

Stendardo: Not Birmingham bound

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Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has failed in his attempts to sign Lazio central defender Guglielmo Stendardo on loan.

McLeish is looking to bolster his backline and has recently been linked with a move for Aston Villa's Gary Cahill.

But the former Scotland manager has revealed that he planned to secure Stendardo on loan after holding talks with the player and his agent.

However, Lazio have ruled out a switch following a recent spate of injuries.

McLeish told the Birmingham Mail: "The Stendardo guy, who we were looking at bringing on loan, won't be happening.

Going nowhere

"Lazio have got a bit of an injury crisis right now. He won't be going anywhere.

"The reason we were considering him on loan and not making a commitment to his club was that we didn't know enough about him.

"I did the diligence on him, I spoke to contacts in Italy, and I felt it was right we should try to get him on loan first.

"While I have got a centre-back problem, I have got to commend Liam Ridgewell and Rafael Schmitz.

"They've done very well together. While they are two left-footers - and yet nobody has got any problem playing two right-footers - they have combined. They have been very, very good but I do have a problem if one of them goes down."