Date: 22nd January 2008 at 1:40pm
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Birmingham are unlikely to sign Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras following the acquisition of James McFadden from Everton and Argentinian starlet Mauro Zarate on loan from Al-Sadd.

A fee of £2.5million has been agreed between the two clubs for the 22-year-old Greek striker but boss Alex McLeish has now said the time for any deal has now passed.

With McFadden making a cameo appearance as a substitute against Chelsea on Saturday and Zarate impressing for the reserves during their win against Arsenal last night, Samaras may not have received any more opportunities of first-team action at St Andrews than he currently does at the City of Manchester Stadium.

McLeish told the Birmingham Mail: “I cannot do that deal just now. We have a lot of strikers at the club and I have to concentrate on another couple of positions. Time has just run on with the Samaras one.

“I had identified the big guy as a target five or six weeks ago and if I could have done it then, it would have been different. But things have dragged on and other people became available.

“McFadden became available, Zarate was an unexpected opportunity, therefore it created a problem with the Samaras one. So it’s unlikely.”

The boss also added that Zarate was an unplanned target but one that the club felt they could sign without troubling their existing plans. The 20-year-old, who scored the winning goal in last year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup final, will be at St Andrews for the rest of the season.