Birmingham closing on striker Pandiani

It is understood the two clubs are set to announce a deal with a fee of £2.8m for the 28-year-old. Last night his agent, Eugenio Botas, confirmed that Pandiani had made clear he wants to join Birmingham and that an agreement was "very close" on a four-year deal.

The move will come as a relief to Birmingham manager Steve Bruce who has missed out on several of his transfer targets. He remains keen on Newcastle's Lee Bowyer - although so far the player has made it clear he has no intention of leaving St James's Park despite being told he is no longer wanted.

The arrival of Pandiani, following on from that of Mikael Forssell, will raise fresh doubts over the future of Clinton Morrison who has made it clear that he wants first-team football. Leeds United, meanwhile, are keen to sign Robbie Blake.

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