BIRMINGHAM City striker Dele Adebola can be firmly crossed off Stan Ternent's summer shopping list after being ruled out for the bulk of next season with a serious knee injury.

The Clarets boss lodged a bid, believed to be around £1 million, for Adebola last November.

And even though he since bought Ian Moore for a club record fee and is hoping to sign on-loan front man Gareth Taylor on a permanent basis, Adebola may also have again been in Ternent's thinking as he looks to strengthen his squad ready for a renewed First Division challenge next term.

However, any such hopes have now been dashed after Adebola, top-scorer for Birmingham this season, shattered his knee when colliding with a post as the Blues booked their play-off place by beating Grimsby Town last Saturday.

City boss Trevor Francis confirmed: "He has ruptured posterior and lateral ligaments and the tendon at the back of his knee as well.

"It is a terrible blow for him and us and we're still trying to take it in.

"When the incident occured we never imagined that it was going to be as serious as it was.

"I wouldn't have expected him to be missing any of the action, let alone be carried off on a stretcher and hear the news that he is going to be out for nine months."

Of more immediate concern to the Clarets is trying to beat Watford in their final game of the season at Turf Moor on Sunday to secure an impressive seventh-place finish.

Ternent is optimistic of having Glen Little and Paul Weller back in contention after they missed last Saturday's defeat at Sheffield United with hamstring injuries.

The in-form pair are on the mend and Little is hoping to have the chance to end the season on a high note.

"I've had a good finish then it was disappointing to miss last Saturday. I felt in good form and hopefully I'll be back for Sunday," he said.

"It doesn't mean anything now but we will still hopefully finish with a win.

"I think if we win we would be guaranteed seventh and it would be a good season for us."

The winger added: "It was a shame I missed Saturday's match. It would have been nice to have played there and got a win. It was a great game to play in with a lovely pitch and I was sitting in the stand thinking it would really have suited me and dying to be out there.

"But I might get another go on Sunday. If we get a good win the crowd will be happy and then we'll look forward to next year."

Sunday's game is Graham Taylor's last as a club manager after a combined total of 14 years in charge of Watford.

He is one of only three men to have managed in over 1,000 League games and the Clarets will make a presentation to the ex-England boss, who is being succeeded at Vicarage Road by Gianluca Vialli, to mark his services to the game.