Date: 27th July 2010 at 12:22pm
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Birmingham City are to extend their scouting options to cover the Far East after they have done well in a mini tour of China and Hong Kong.

City flew over to heighten interest in the club now that they are owned by Carson Yeung who is from Hong Kong.

Now the club are to open several academies in an attempt to tap the Far Eastern market for the best talent to bring to St Andrews.

‘Because of our Asia contacts, we should be spreading the net out here and getting them (potential players) when they are younger,’ said Alex McLeish.

‘I am willing to explore the market. You look at the guys in the past from the Far East who have been great ambassadors.

‘Nakata played in England and Serie A and Zheng Zhi was at Celtic, plus people like Du Wei and Fan Zhiyi.

‘If I am being recommended Asian players who are already playing in Europe, then that’s too late and you’ve got to buy them expensive.

‘Like I said, with our contacts in the region, we should be getting them younger.

‘But, if there are any out there now, they would have to be good enough to play week in and week out in the Premier League.’