Loan deal for Burchill agreed by Birmingham

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The Independent Online

The Celtic striker Mark Burchill has signed for Birmingham City on a three-month loan deal with a view to a permanent £1.5m transfer.

The Celtic striker Mark Burchill has signed for Birmingham City on a three-month loan deal with a view to a permanent £1.5m transfer.

Trevor Francis, manager of the First Division club, has been seeking to acquire the Scotland international for the past six weeks. He was impressed after watching the youngster score a hat-trick in three minutes against Luxembourg sideJeunesse Esch in the Uefa Cup.

Francis was relieved to clinch the deal after his Celtic counterpart, Martin O'Neill, had initially been unwilling to release the player because of the Parkhead club's European commitments. O'Neill had a change of heart, contacted Francis on Wednesday and Birmingham are now awaiting for international clearance which could allow Burchill to take his place in the squad for today's game against Tranmere.

Ross County have joined the chase for the former Rangers striker Gordon Durie.

The former Scotland international has been training with the Ibrox club since his release during the summer and St Mirren and Hearts are also interested in taking the veteran forward.

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