McLeish confirmed this morning that negotiations behind the midfielder's prospective move to St Andrew's have now reached an advanced stage, after the club revised an initial bid, believed to be in the region of £3 million.
Rangers fans furious at sale of striker Kris Boyd to Birmingham CityPremier League Transfer TalkBirmingham City Football Club: Fixtures 2009/2010He also revealed he is seeking to secure Boyd out of contract in the summer with a precontract agreement before the transfer window closes.
True to form, however, the Birmingham manager was staying suitably coy in the face of attempts to pin him down to the nitty-gritty.
'I can't confirm we have made any offer for anyone,' he said. 'It is not fair to talk about players at other clubs. But Boyd is out of contract in the summer and it is possible we could do some business there but I am not committing myself.'
McLeish was more forthcoming regarding Gardner. 'We are waiting for the go ahead from the bosses in terms of the final sanction but we are pretty close to a deal. Craig is a player who can perform in a number of positions and a player like that is worth his weight in gold in terms of squad strength.'
Meanwhile, new signing Michel has been cleared to play in Birmingham's FA Cup tie against Everton on Saturday.
The 24 year-old midfielder, who signed from Sporting Gijón for £3 million, was included in the squad for last weekend's Premier League game at Portsmouth, which was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, but he is unlikely to start at Goodison Park. Nevertheless, he will be named in the squad.