Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has turned down the opportunity to become Birmingham’s new manager.
City approached Lippi to replace Steve Bruce, who has become the new manager at Wigan.
“We made an approach and he turned it down,” Blues co-owner David Sullivan told the Birmingham Mail.
“This is not a stunt, it’s genuine – he is available and we are looking at bringing in a manager of his stature and calibre, if at all possible.”
Lippi is one of the most decorated coaches in Italian football, having guided Juventus to five Serie A titles in Italy and four Champions League finals, winning one in 1996, during two spells as manager.
In between, he endured an unsuccessful season as coach of Inter Milan.
Lippi became national coach in 2004 and took his team to World Cup glory in Germany, beating France 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the final ended 1-1.
But he did not renew his contract with the Italian Football Federation after the tournament, deciding instead to take a sabbatical.
“He was one of the first we went to but unfortunately nothing materialised,” added Sullivan.
“Of course, you get knock-backs. That’s football. But if you do not try you will never know.
“It was the same with (former Tottenham manager) Martin Jol. It made sense for us to approach him.
“I want to stress to our supporters that we are working very, very hard to bring in the right man.
“Until you get to meet them and speak to them, you can never be quite sure, but it won’t be for a lack of trying, believe me.
“We are determined to find a manager who would create a bit of a stir and excite people.”