Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce has turned down the chance to sign one of the mmost prolific strikers on the planet, because of his age.

At 36, Romario was deemed too old for the Premiership new boys, despite being offered to them on a free transfer.

The Brazilian forward, currently with Vasco de Gama, was controversially left out of this year’s World Cup squad. So popular is the striker in his homeland, the national coach, “Big Phil” Scolari, was attacked in his car when news broke of the Brazilian legend’s omission. Romario is keen for a move to the Premiership having played in his native Brazil, Spain and Portugal.

Although admittedly in the twilight years of his career he has lost little of goal-scoring prowess that made him top scorer at the 1994 World Cup finals in USA.

Bruce is still looking to strengthen his side’s attacking options, however. Top of his list is Poland’s World Cup striker Emmanuel Olisadebe. The powerful 23-year-old is believed to be ready-made for the pace and style of the Premiership. Talks will begin today on a possible œ3.3 million pound move from Greek side Panathinaikos.

Although there has been interest from Juventus Bruce is hopeful Olisadebe will be his fourth international signing of the summer. Robbie Savage, Kenny Cunningham and Aliou Cisse have all already arrived at St Andrews.