The long-running saga of Martin Taylor's future could be heading towards a conclusion as new Blues boss Alex McLeish prepares to embark on his own New Year shopping spree.
Could. Still only could.
One look at the fixture list will explain why McLeish himself may be so keen – nay, desperate – to get himself to the negotiating table armed with the both the ?1 million he has already received for the similarly frozen out Rowan Vine and the ?750,000 minimum he can expect from bundling the six-foot four-inch Taylor out of the door.
For this Saturday, Birmingham travel to The Emirates to face Premiership leaders Arsenal. After that and the Blues play host to title hopefuls Chelsea – by then, likely to be boosted by the impending arrival of ?15 million striker Nicolas Anelka.
If McLeish is working on the not unreasonable basis of taking not a lot from those two fixtures, then Birmingham could go into the final week of the transfer window firmly wedged in the bottom three.
All of a sudden, their trip to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland at the end of the month and the home clash with bottom of the table Derby County a week later assume huge significance. Clearly Blues' fate will not be settled on the result of either game, but they may well set the tone for all that follows this spring.
Little wonder, therefore, that McLeish is desperate to add both firepower and defensive depth to his squad – hence his ?2.5 million chase for Everton striker James McFadden and Hibs' left-back David Murphy.
Snubbed in his initial approaches for both players this week, McLeish may have to raise the stakes again to ?3 million plus for McFadden; from ?1 million to nearer ?1.5 million for Murphy – money that, in theory, needs to be raised via player sales.
That he needs reinforcements – and quickly – he made very plain after last weekend's miserable FA Cup exit at Huddersfield.
“I think it's very obvious that we need to add some faces to the squad,” he said. “We have thrown some seeds down and we hope that they develop over the next week or two.”
As ever Birmingham won't be the only club sniffing around both McFadden and Murphy; money will have to talk. Money that both the Golds and the Sullivans – still smarting from the abortive takeover bid by Far Eastern businessman Carson Yeung – are tired of stumping up.
McLeish has ?2 million worth of Steve Bruce compensation money from Wigan Athletic and whatever else he can raise from the sale of Vine, Taylor and the ?500,000-rated Neil Danns – and that's it.
The fact that Blues have lost three players to the African Cup of Nations merely heaps yet further pressure on McLeish to deal. “We had a young 16-year-old on the bench on Saturday so we need players in who are going to help the current group and hopefully improve us,” said the Blues boss.
Simply putting a 16-year-old on the bench ahead of Taylor speaks volumes for where the long-time Canary target is in the grander scheme of things. Out, in short.
“We have always said the money generated by the football club can be spent by the football club,” said David Gold yesterday. “If you combine whatever we receive for players like Martin Taylor and Neil Danns with the balance from changing managers, that's around ?5m.”
He needs at least ?4 million of that to fund the McFadden and Murphy deals; without ?750,000 plus from a Taylor sale, McLeish will have to go back, cap in hand to the Golds and the Sullivans. 'No chance… not again…' would appear the line from the St Andrews boardroom.
“Anything above that would come from the owners. That has happened over the years, but it is a back stop,” added Gold, looking to his new manager to do his own house-keeping.
“Alex is a very measured guy and is not going to be held to ransom. He sees the club's money as his money. Steve Bruce spent all the money in the summer and promotion cost us a fortune in bonuses.”
Well-placed City sources today, however, suggested nothing on the Taylor front was imminent; that having so publically dug her high heels in at the ?1 million mark via her regular column in The Sun, Blues chief executive Karren Brady was not for lowering her price – despite the fact that her preferred buyers, QPR, have long moved on elsewhere.
And as much as anyone might wish to throw the names of Leicester City and Ipswich Town about, Taylor's own desire to make the switch to Norwich keeps Brady and the Blues boxed in a corner – with McLeish ever more urgent in his need for cash.
Otherwise, the one event of note today was expected to be Chris Brown's ?350,000 switch to Preston North End; the Bulgarian international Valentin Iliev remains on trial at Colney – and no more. Whatever his agent loudly claims.