Birmingham City will be aiming to ramp up their transfer business over the next few weeks as they aim to bolster the options that Lee Bowyer has to work with for next term.
This is Bowyer’s first chance to start making the right changes to his squad and to bring in the players needed to suit the way he wants his Birmingham side to set up in the Championship in his first full campaign in charge.
One area that Bowyer will be looking to improve this summer for the Blues in the middle of the park. Birmingham have already managed to secure the services of Riley McGree until January and he will be able to play the more advanced attacking midfielder role in their squad.
However, Bowyer could still do with adding some extra defensive solidity and also someone with some extra quality in possession in the midfield area before the window shuts.
It now seems that Stoke City midfielder Ryan Woods could be a potential option for the Blues to sign this summer to provide the qualities they have been lacking in the middle of the park.
So, what do we know so far about Birmingham’s pursuit of Woods and is it a transfer that they are going to be able to make happen this summer? We take a look…
What do we know so far?
Birmingham Live have reported so far that Woods is a player that Birmingham are interested in making a potential move for. It is believed that the 27-year-old is on their radar for players they feel could improve their options in the middle of the park.
It is also being reported that Stoke City are open to the prospect of cashing in on Woods in the transfer window with the Potters keen to cut down their wage bill and move on players that are not likely to be fully in Michael O’Neill’s plans for next season.
Woods himself is also reportedly keen to secure himself a permanent exit from the Bet365 Stadium, with the move to Stoke having not really worked out for the midfielder over the last few years.
It is thought that he wants a fresh challenge somewhere he can be guaranteed to be more of a crucial member of the squad.
Did these 20 midfielders ever score a goal for Birmingham City?
Millwall did have Woods on loan last season and he enjoyed a strong enough campaign for the Lions in the Championship making 39 league starts and helping them enjoy a comfortable top-half finish. However, they have yet to register a real interest in re-signing him on a permanent basis.
Although the Stoke Sentinel has reported that Woods does have other admirers in the Championship, with Birmingham at the front of the que at this stage.
Is it likely to happen?
This is a transfer that you can see happening this summer. Woods and Stoke both want to part ways for differing reasons with the player wanting to find a new permanent home somewhere he is more valued and the Potters needing to cut their cloth financially.
Meanwhile, Birmingham are in need of a player with the sort of qualities that Woods brings to the table. The 27-year-old has quality and calmness in possession and that allows him to help his side retain possession when under pressure. While the midfielder is also able to provide solid protection in front of the defence.
A move for Woods might be straightforward in terms of agreeing a deal with the Potters for his services, but one potential stumbling block could well be the midfielder’s possible wage demands.
You would expect that both parties would be able to sort something out though to prevent that from stopping the move from happening.
If that happens and no other side comes in to thwart the Blues’ attempts to land the 27-year-old then this one is likely to get done you feel.