Goals, steel and free agent options that can help Birmingham City rebuild

Birmingham City’s squad overhaul could be quite drastic this summer, depending on the decisions that need to be made on each of the host of players whose contracts are set to expire. The Blues are already five players lighter than they were on the final day of the season after completing loan deals for their loan quintet.

After relegation, the Blues have the opportunity to sweep the decks. The goalkeeping department might have a whole new look, but right through the backbone of the team, the Blues have gaping holes where they are currently missing contracted players. From the heart of defence, through midfield and especially up top, the Blues are in need of recruitment.

Football tends to stop for a few weeks after the season ends. The play-offs are ongoing, the retained and released lists are still being confirmed on a club-by-club basis. Within a month, the transfer motor will begin to spin. As it stands, the Blues have no goalkeepers, no centre-forwards and a recognized centre-half – if you count Krystian Bielik as a midfielder.

Players who are under contract can leave. Jordan James will certainly have interest, for example. As they did last summer, it’s fair to assume the Blues could need up to a dozen players this summer. Negotiations between clubs and players whose contracts have expired are ongoing, but there are likely to be situations that the Blues can exploit.

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Paddy McNair

The Northern Ireland international left Middlesbrough after six years without being offered a new contract. McNair, 29, can – like Bielik – play in several positions and has Premier League pedigree. However, he fell out of favor following the appointment of Michael Carrick, but is unlikely to be without offers this summer.