Clarets stand firm as Birmingham join the bidding

Last updated : 27 December 2004 By Tony Scholes

It is crisis time at St Andrews with injuries to key forwards and manager Steve Bruce admitted yesterday that he would like to sign Robbie Blake. That interest was followed up with a £1.25 million offer which the Clarets treated in the same way as they treated the ludicrously low bids from Wigan, they turned it down.

This bid will have caused some discussion at the Concrete Jungle and it could well be their plan has now backfired on them. Low bids, player unsettled and then a claim that they are no longer interested – a sure sign that they were sat waiting for Burnley to drop their price on a player who now wants to leave.

They thought they had beaten us and would get him on the cheap once Burnley realised they were better with some money rather than an unsettled player. That’s no longer the case because another club have come in over the top of them and lifted the price.

That means the Wigan chairman, he who has so much interest that he has cleared off for Christmas whilst they play vital games, will have had to open his sports shops early this morning to try and raise a bit more.

It is looking more and more likely that Robbie will be leaving in the very near future, the transfer window for the Premiership opens in a week. He said his reason for leaving was to play in the Premiership so surely he will be keener to go to a club already in there rather than one with a chance of making it.

One other Premiership club are believed to be keen, Nigel Worthington has confirmed that the club is not Norwich.

Things change though, just a few days ago Birmingham were looking to buy cheap in the bargain basement, offering £200,000 for some striker by the name of Paul Dickov. Now they have decided to raise their standards and go for better with their offer for Blake.

I suspect this story is set to run for another week or so but suspect now that Robbie Blake will no longer be a Burnley player by the time Liverpool arrive for the FA Cup tie.