Gianfranco Zola transfer updates

Asked to comment about various players at his pre-match media conference, Zola was open and honest about where Blues were at.

A big bid was lodged with Crystal Palace for Bakary Sako, but it appears the Eagles now want to keep the winger.

Zola said: "It’s a pity because Bakary would have given us something which we need.

“But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. It is going to be difficult because I think he will stay at Crystal Palace now.

"He played very well in the last Palace game and I heard that the fans were chanting his name as well."

On former Blues Carling Cup winner Craig Gardner, Zola confirmed talks have taken place with West Bromwich Albion in regard a loan.

"We are discussing the details of how it’s going to be but we want the player and the player wants us so hopefully it will happen. He wants to come so it’s a very good thing.

"Craig is another very good player who could bring something to the team.

“He is a Premier League player, he scores goals and top of that he is a Birmingham supporter and has already played for us and done extremely well.

“Maybe it will happen, we don’t know yet. The ingredients are there so hopefully we can finish the deal.”

On Friday afternoon news emerged from the Continent that Blues were in for Slovenian star Rene Krhin, of Spanish club Granada CF.

Zola was asked about the midfielder and replied: "He is a very good player. We are certainly trying to make our team stronger and there is a possibility. 

“I have had a chance to look at everything and now we have a chance to strengthen the team, to make the squad better, which we will try to do.

“You have to try and take every advantage that you can because nowadays the Championship you see that there are seven, eight, maybe nine teams that are really strong.

“I can tell you now that I would have loved to have had this squad from the beginning (of the season). That would have given me more chance to work with the players I have got. They have given everything to me, and I appreciate that very much.

“But unfortunately time is the killer for me, we have to go for something more quickly instead."

Turning to Krhin again, Zola added: "He’s an international for Slovenia and he’s a very good player with the qualities that I think would be good for us. We’ll see if it happens."