Date: 22nd November 2007 at 1:37am
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Italy’s World Cup winning manager Marcello Lippi has rejected the chance to manage Birmingham City – and Blues co-owner David Sullivan has claimed the job offer was 100 per cent genuine.

Lippi, who won the World Cup with Italy in Germany last year, apparently emerged as one of the leading contenders to replace Steve Bruce at St Andrews. Former Spurs boss Martin Jol had already rejected the job.

While it all seems to be little more than a publicity stunt, and sometimes things are what they first appear, Sullivan has specifically denied that the attempt to sign Lippi was anything other than genuine. Hmm.

Sullivan told the Birmingham Mail: “We made an approach and Lippi turned it down. This is not a stunt. It’s genuine. He is available at the moment and we are looking at bringing in a manager of his stature and calibre, if at all possible. He was one of the first we went to but unfortunately nothing materialised.

“Of course, you get knock-backs. That’s football. But if you do not try you will never know. It was the same with Martin Jol. It made sense for us to approach him. We are juggling other balls in the air at the moment and we will see which ones land. I want to stress to our supporters that we are working very, very hard to bring in the right man.

“Until you get to meet them and speak to them, you can never be quite sure. But it won’t be for a lack of trying, believe me. We are determined to find a manager who would create a bit of a stir and excite people.”

Searching for a manager who would create a stir and excite fans is all well and good, but realistically Martin Jol and Marcello Lippi are highly unlikely to even give the Blues a second look. Of course, there are other ways to cause a stir.

Steve McClaren will be looking for a job soon (or already is, according to some sources) and handing him the Birmingham job would get people talking. Probably not in a good way, but they would be talking…