McLeish tight-lipped over Barton
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is refusing to comment on speculation linking him with a move for Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton. McLeish is keen to strengthen in the centre of the park despite signing Lee Bowyer on a two-year contract on Wednesday. The former Scotland boss was understood to be considering the possibility of trying to sign Barton on a season-long loan but is giving nothing away. McLeish said: "I don't want to say anything about Joey at all. I don't like to talk about other club's players when there's speculation around." He added: "I don't want to say anything until I've got something to say to the Blues fans. I don't want to say 'we have this one and that one' and then nothing happens." McLeish is adamant he has no plans to sign former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune even though he is training with the club. The 32-year-old was released by Belgian club Tubize at the end of the 2008/09 season but has linked up with Blues as a favour to one of McLeish's friends while he looks for a new club. McLeish said: "We're just training Quinton as a favour. I know a mutual friend and he asked if I could provide facilities for Quinton. "There's not a deal on the table for Quinton, he is not on trial and it is purely a favour." McLeish has withdrawn the offer of a pre-season trial to former Celtic defender Bobo Balde who has linked up with Wolves during their current trip to Australia. McLeish has since signed centre-backs Scott Dann, Roger Johnson and Giovanny Espinoza since making the offer. He said: "I spoke to Bobo and we were very honest and open with each other. I said I've got my quota of centre-halves and that I'm going to have to withdraw the invitation. He was maybe disappointed but I know that Bobo will get something."
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