Gold confident of keeping Pandiani

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The Independent Football

David Gold, the Birmingham chairman, is confident the club will sign the striker Walter Pandiani on a permanent basis in the summer. Gold believes the Blues will win the race to land the player, on loan from Deportivo La Coruña, even though Middlesbrough and Newcastle are also understood to be interested in the 28-year-old.

David Gold, the Birmingham chairman, is confident the club will sign the striker Walter Pandiani on a permanent basis in the summer. Gold believes the Blues will win the race to land the player, on loan from Deportivo La Coruña, even though Middlesbrough and Newcastle are also understood to be interested in the 28-year-old.

Birmingham are still negotiating a fee for Pandiani with Deportivo looking for around £3.2m for the Uruguayan international. But Gold remains optimistic that there will be no major stumbling blocks preventing City from completing the deal. "If I was a betting man, I would say that Walter Pandiani will be playing for Birmingham City next season. I do not think there will be any problems.

"If you look back at the history of Birmingham City under the stewardship of the Golds and David Sullivan, most deals get concluded. I cannot remember a deal that has collapsed. Even Craig Bellamy was not an issue of finance - it was more his desire to go to Celtic."

Gold believes Pandiani will end the season with a flourish after recovering from an ankle problem which affected his form after a fine start to his Birmingham career.

"We all got very excited with Walter when he got off to a fantastic start and then he had a quiet spell but he was playing with a bit of a knock and not training as well as he might," Gold said.

"But now he has got two good weeks under his belt and I thought he was a handful against Chelsea in a game where you don't get many chances or crosses coming in.

"I am sure against Portsmouth and the other clubs we have left it will be a different kettle of fish and he will look like the player we first saw."

Jermaine Pennant who is on loan from Arsenal has re-affirmed his desire to sign for City full-time in the summer. "I'm happy to stay here," Pennant said. "Birmingham are a great club trying to achieve things and it would be nice to be part of that."

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