Birmingham City boss Lee Bowyer might be force to go into the free agent market on the back of the news that George Friend will not return to full fitness until March at least. Ex-Middlesbrough star Friend has been ruled out of action for four weeks after picking up a calf strain to leave the club with limited options at the back. Friend is a versatile defender who can play as a left-back or on the left side of the central defence.

In the absence of Friend, Lee Bowyer and Birmingham City are left with Marcel Oakley and Nico Gordon as the only two senior pros who could provide cover in central defenceafter the regulars namely Marc Roberts, Kristian Pedersen, TedenMengi and Maxime Collins. Mengi is a Manchester United loanee who joined the club on loan from the Red Devils this season having spent some time on loan at fellow English Championship club Derby County last season.

In the aftermath of the injury to Friend, five free agent centre backs who could do a good job at centre back for Birmingham City have been listed by media outlet Blue Voices. It has already been established that the club is weighing up the free transfer market in the bid to boost their squad.

Ex-Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny is at the veteran stage of his career and he recently left French Ligue 1 team Bordeaux by mutual consent meaning that he could be a free transfer signing for any team at the moment including Birmingham City. Koscielny was one of the five options who made the list. The others are former Derby County and Liverpool player Andre Wisdom, ex-West Ham United star Winston Reid, Rodrigo Ely and Edgar Le who can also play a number of positions just like the injured Friend.