ATALANTA have launched a swoop for Birmingham’s Jordan James.
Reports in Italy claim the Serie A club have made an opening bid of £3.9million plus bonuses for the Wales midfielder – who has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Jude Bellingham.
TRANSFER NEWS LIVE: All the latest transfer deals from around the world this January
SunSport previously revealed fellow Italian clubs Bologna and Lecce as well as Everton, Blackburn and Leicester have all been interested in rising star James, 19, who has impressed for club and country this season.
Highly-rated youngster James went to the World Cup last year with Robert Page’s Wales squad as an extra man for the experience and then won his first cap in March.
James has made 24 Championship appearances for Birminghamthis term as well as the eight-cap Welshman establishing himself at international level which have included excellent performances against Croatia and Turkey.
Atalanta, under the guidance of sporting director Lee Congerton, formerly of Leicesterand Liverpool, have been scouting the British market for potential bargains and upcoming talent.
Now the Italians could take advantage of the uncertainty at Birmingham after manager Wayne Rooney was sacked on Tuesday.
And SunSport understands the managerless club will approach Steve Cooper as their first port of call after Rooney’s exit.
However they accept it is likely to be a short conversation and they face an uphill battle to convince the former Nottingham Forest boss to turn his back on a possible rapid return to the Premier League.
Blues CEO Garry Cook dusted himself down on Tuesday and started the recruiting process – again – 13 weeks after he pinned his hopes on Rooney.
Rooney, 38, was only appointed at St. Andrew’s in mid-October, on a three-and-a-half-year deal, with Birmingham sitting sixth in the play-off places.
However, he won just two of 15 matches in charge and left with Birmingham languishing 20th in the Championship, just six points off the drop zone after 26 matches.
Rooney failed to win over a sceptical group of players, who were relieved to discover he had been axed when they arrived for training.