The Birmingham Mail reports that Harry Redknapp is looking to make free agent Chris Samba one of his first signing at Birmingham City. The 33-year-old ended last season training with city rivals Aston Villa, who say he can train with them again in pre-season.
Villa and Steve Bruce haven’t got as far as offering Samba a contract, but Redknapp could possibly be willing to make that commitment. In his London Evening Standard column, the experienced manager said that ‘there are already two or three players available on frees I have got my eye on’. Perhaps the former Dynamo Moscow man is one of those targets.
Samba has been officially a free agent and without a club since being released by Greek Super League side Panathinaikos in January. He spent the last three months of the season training with the Villa Park club to try and improve his fitness, and potentially do enough to earn a contract.
Redknapp previously worked with Samba during their time together at Queens Park Rangers in 2013. Prior to training with Villa, Samba also had a spell training with Premier League side Crystal Palace and had hoped to impress Sam Allardyce enough to win a deal too. Samba ‘came to fame’ during his time in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers, who he played over 150 times for.
The situation at Birmingham however could give Samba a better chance of breaking into their side. Veteran defender Paul Robinson is out of contract, whilst Krystian Bielik has returned to Arsenal following the conclusion of his loan spell. There is only really Michael Morrison and Ryan Shotton in this position that is definitely committed to next season, although Jonathan Grounds can also play in this role too along with youngster Josh Cogley.