BIRMINGHAM boss Steve Bruce is happy to play the waiting game in his quest to land David Dunn.

City are still licking their wounds after having a convoluted £5.5m bid for Dunn thrown out by the Rovers board last week.

Ewood chiefs admit they are steeling themselves for further bids from interested parties, including Everton, Aston Villa and Chelsea.

But Bruce is happy to bide his time and leave Rovers boss Graeme Souness sweating on his Premiership rivals making concrete offers.

"Our bid has been turned down, but that doesn't mean to say we're still not hopeful," said Bruce.

"It's early in the summer yet and we'll be sitting tight just to see what might develop."

Bruce has played a winning hand before, adopting a similar approach over Matthew Upson before eventually wrestling the defender from Arsenal for an immediate £750,000 after weeks of wrangling.

He could have met his match in stubborn Souness, who laughed out City's original bid of £3 million as an initial down-payment for England midfielder Dunn.

City wanted the balance to hinge on appearances and on Bruce's men maintaining their Premiership status.

However, Souness hit back, saying the Midlands outfit may as well include a proviso for reaching the Champions League.

But cool-as-you-like Bruce countered: "At the moment, there isn't a real sense of urgency.

"Unless there are any sudden breakthroughs, I think it's going to be fairly quiet for some time."

Everton have now emerged as City's main rivals for Dunn, despite rumours of an interest in Sheffield United midfield ace Michael Brown.

Neil Warnock is looking for £3m for the want-away Blades midfielder, who slapped in a transfer request just 48 hours after the heartbreaking First Division play-off final defeat to Wolves.

However, I understand Toffees boss David Moyes, currently enjoying a summer break, sees Brown as over-valued and lacking the Premiership experience Dunn already carries by the bucketload.

Moyes also has money at his disposal after being pipped to the final UEFA Cup spot by Rovers last season.

Meanwhile, Rovers' defender Jay McEveley has withdrawn through injury David Platt's England U21 side for next month's games against Serbia and Slovakia.

However, midfielder Tugay has been included in the Turkish squad facing Slovakia on June 7 and Macedonia four days later.