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Lukas Jutkiewicz looked set for a permanent move to Birmingham City until last Wednesday when they incredibly decided to sack Gary Rowett and replace him with Gianfranco Zola.

We wondered how that would affect the move especially after he was asked what he thought of the decision to change manager. “Shocked is probably the right word because nobody had heard any whispers or anything like that,” he said.

“We had come in on Wednesday morning for a warm down after a hard fought victory over Ipswich and it’s kind of the last thing anyone even expected. We were told to wait around after training for a meeting. We had no clue. We certainly didn’t think it was going to be that. Being in football a long while nothing really should shock you but it certainly took us by surprise.”

New boss Zola has intimated that nothing has changed and everything is in place for the striker to join them permanently at the end of his loan on 2nd January. Zola told the Birmingham Mail after Juke had scored for them in the defeat against Brighton: “We are interested. Lukas is doing very well. He scored a great goal but also his performance was magnificent. He helped the team throughout the game and it was unlucky that a goal like that didn’t bring anything today in terms of points.”

Zola, significantly, added: “Lukas is an important player for us. We will try everything we can to keep him with us if we can. He was really outstanding today and we’ll try our best. He scored one goal, he was always a threat and he worked very hard, unbelievable work. It’s good to have players like that.”

You’d think that would secure his future at Birmingham but they certainly still have a number of rivals for his signature with Fulham the latest to step forward. With Chris Martin likely to be recalled by Derby it would leave Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic short of options up front and it is being reported that they will certainly be prepared to match the Birmingham bid for him.

However, it’s the Blues who remain favourites. He’s been a regular there, there is an agreement between the two clubs, and he’s proved to be a popular signing with the fans.

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