Transfer talk: Blues close in on midfielder

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The Independent Football

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Blues close in on midfielder

Birmingham City hope to complete the £3m signing of the Sporting Gijon midfielder Michel. Blues manager Alex McLeish bemoaned the frailty of his squad last week and the signing of 23-year-old Michel will strengthen them ahead of tonight's visit of Portsmouth.

Hammers accept Collins bid

West Ham have accepted a £3.5m from Stoke for Wales defender James Collins. Manager Tony Pulis hopes the 25-year-old will strengthen the Potters' defence as rumours continue about the future of highly rated centre-back Ryan Shawcross.

O'Neill remains on lookout

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is looking to bolster the squad following the poor display in Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to Wigan. "We are trying to get some players," he said. "It's going to be a long season. We've got a lot to do."

Trotters duo to head south

Portsmouth manager Paul Hart is monitoring Bolton defender Danny Shittu and midfielder Gavin McCann.

Swans Bodde blow

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez is close to securing the signing of midfielder Ferrie Bodde from previous employers Swansea City.

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Cottagers make Duff move

Damien Duff has become the latest stellar name to flee Newcastle United, the Republic of Ireland international moving to Fulham in a £4m deal. "I am looking forward to the challenges ahead," the 30-year-old said.

Pizarro leaves Bridge

Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro has completed a permanent move to Werder Bremen, after spending last season on loan at the Bundesliga side. Meanwhile, the Blues have brought in Serbian internaional Nemanja Matic from MFK Kosice for £1.5m. The midfielder, 21, moves on a four-year deal.

Lambert flies in to Canaries

Norwich have appointed Paul Lambert as manager, replacing Bryan Gunn, who was sacked last week. The 40-year-old, in charge of the Colchester side which inflicted the 7-1 opening day defeat on the Canaries that led to Gunn's departure, insists Norwich are a "big club" and said the club were looking to gain promotion back to the Championship. "There is no way we should be where we are," he said.

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Spurs duo part of the plan

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has dismissed reports linking Jermaine Jenas and David Bentley with moves away from White Hart Lane. "Both are part of my plans," he confirmed.