Championship clubs tend to be linked with a plethora of players throughout the course of the season and there are always plenty of rumours flying around St. Andrews, particularly during the summer months. Over the years, fans have understandably become excited by some of the names who have been linked with a switch to the West Midlands, and whilst a handful of these have eventually pitched up in B9, many of these potential recruits have fallen by the wayside. We have picked out three players whose protracted moves failed to materialise, and look at how their careers have progressed since the rumours first emerged.
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The Blues were linked to an abundance of players during the Gianfranco Zola era, with Swedish international Robin Quaison amongst those who were believed to be considering a move to St Andrews. The 26-year-old can operate in a variety of positions, and would have been a superb asset to the Blues. The recruitment team had their work cut out as the stylish attacking midfielder had also been linked with a host of Serie A clubs.
Unfortunately, Quaison didn’t arrive in the UK, eventually signing a contract with Mainz 05 at the beginning of 2017. He enjoyed a terrific start to the 2019-20 campaign, claiming the Bundesliga’s Goal of the Month for October before hitting his first career hat-trick against Werder Bremen.
As well as enjoying a relatively successful couple of seasons in the German top flight, Quaison has also made an impression on the international stage, netting seven times in his first 15 appearances for Sweden and he is likely to feature prominently at Euro 2021. The Scandinavian side are 125/1 in the international football betting markets for next year’s summer tournament, and after reaching the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Quaison and his team-mates will be expected to reach the latter stages of the competition once again.
More recently, the Blues were linked with another player who was plying his trade in Italy. Pep Clotet was rumoured to be interested in Leonardo Morosini, a player who had enjoyed a limited amount of success in Serie B.
He burst onto the scene in 2014, scoring 14 times in 77 appearances before netting three in ten on loan at Avellino. Genoa shelled out £2.5 million for his services at the beginning of 2017, although the switch was ultimately unsuccessful and after just four appearances, he returned to Brescia.
The midfielder was briefly linked with a move to Brighton, although despite reportedly opening negotiations with the Seagulls, he opted to remain in Italy. He’s currently on loan at Ascoli, and has enjoyed a superb start to 2020, scoring four goals in 134 minutes of football this calendar year.
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One of the more bizarre rumours of the last 25 years was the news that Roberto Carlos was close to joining Birmingham. The Brazilian left-back had been competing in the Umbro Cup at Goodison Park and the Blues reportedly made an offer for the World Cup-winner. However, Uniao Sao Joao upped the asking price, and the plug was eventually pulled on a potentially historic transaction.
After returning to his native Brazil, the free-kick specialist spent time at the San Siro, the Bernabeu and Fenerbahce’s Sukru Saracoglu Stadium. He briefly flirted with management, spending a small amount of time in charge of Sivasspor and Akhisarspor before moving to India to take over at the Delhi Dynamos. He now works as a football ambassador.
There are bound to be plenty more rumours flying around this summer as Clotet looks to re-shape his squad, and although the club are unlikely to sign a future World Cup winner, fans will be hoping that some of the players linked will sign on the dotted line and help haul the Blues away from mid-table obscurity next season.