Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is awaiting Birmingham’s reply to their request to speak to Steve Bruce about their managerial vacancy.
Bruce is Whelan’s favoured choice to succeed Chris Hutchings, who was sacked after 12 games in charge.
“If they give us permission we’ll talk. If they won’t he’s under contract so we’ll have to abide by that,” he told the BBC.
Birmingham confirmed that they were “considering” the approach but no decision had yet been made.
Bruce, who had a brief spell in charge of Wigan in 2001, has been Birmingham manager for nearly six years but the 46-year-old fears his days at the club could be numbered if Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung’s proposed takeover of City go through.
Bruce was set to sign a new contract with City but the offer has been withdrawn until negotiations with Yeung are completed.
“Steve has worked with me before, he was with me at Wigan five or six years ago for two months and did a super job then,” said Whelan.
“I know he’s in a bit of a situation at Birmingham because of the takeover, they will not give him an answer or extend his contract, which is running out, so obviously he was a candidate for us.”
Wigan are currently 19th in the Premier League, with just two league wins in 13 games.