Date: 27th January 2006 at 6:28pm
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With the transfer window slowing reaching a close, Steve Bruce is turning his attention to defence as he looks to cover for injured centre-back pairing Kenny Cunningham and Martin Taylor.

With Matthew Upson also suspended for this weekend’s cup tie at Reading, Bruce has decided to firm up his long-held interest in Hammarby stopper Max von Schlebrugge.

With money tight at St. Andrews, Bruce has admitted he is looking to bring in the highly regarded Swede on a temporary deal, saying, ‘An enquiry has been made about bringing in Von Schlebrugge on loan’.

Such a deal would presumably include an future transfer option for the 28-year-old, as Hammarby would be unlikely to let a first-team regular such as von Schlebrugge leave without the likelihood of a future fee.

This move for von Schelbrugge, however, has put the skids on a possible move for Cardiff hotshot Cameron Jerome.

The 20-year-old, who has hit 15 goals this term, was the subject of much interest from Blues – but co-owner David Sullivan is unwilling to match the £3.5 million asking price for the ex-Middlesbrough trainee.

He told the South Wales Echo: ‘We were very interested in Cameron at £2million, but certainly not at £3.5million.

‘It’s simply not a realistic price, it’s too much for someone who has come into the first team and only had a good couple of months.

‘At £2million, he’s worth taking a chance on. But not at £3.5million and I’m sure there are a lot of clubs sniffing around as he’s had a very good season. But, like us, a lot will be warned off at that price tag of £3.5million.’

Without the addition of a further striker before the midnight 31 January deadline, Blues will still be lacking cover up front – the same predicament which has partly led to our troubles this season.

The remaining four days look set to be frantic for Blues, as Bruce and the board try to pull off some major wheeling and dealing before the window closes – a task not made any easier by Bruce being struck down by ‘flu.