Date: 23rd January 2007 at 9:12am
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Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce has played down talk of the Championship promotion hopefuls making a bid of £3m for highly-rated Wednesday centre-back Madjid Bougherra.

Owls chairman Dave Allen yesterday revealed he was in discussions with the St Andrew’s club regarding the availability of Bougherra, slapping a £3m price tag on his services.

But Bruce has revealed that although he does have an interest in the player, he won’t be paying the £3m price-tag on the Algerian international.

He told the Yorkshire Post: ‘We have made an enquiry, but I can categorically deny that we will ever pay £3m for the player,’ Bruce told the Yorkshire Post. I phoned Brian and we had a conversation about a number of players. It was about 10 days ago.

‘What we talked about will remain confidential, but I have expressed an interest in Madjid Bougherra and I have asked to be kept up to date on the situation.’

The news could mean the 24-year-old, who has attracted the interest of a number of Premiership clubs, could well remain at Hillsborough at least until the end of the season as the end of the January transfer window draws to a close.

Wednesday have already turned down an approach of £1.3m for Bougherra from Charlton Athletic while Everton and Reading have also been linked with his services – but the Owls seem unlikely to budge unless the £3m price has been met.