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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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By ESPN Staff

Pandiani rejects Liga return to fight for place

Birmingham striker Walter Pandiani has rejected the chance to return to Spain with Real Mallorca and wants to fight for his place at St Andrews.

Pandiani, who signed from Deportivo La Coruna, has been the subject of a £700,000 bid from Mallorca while Monaco and Marseille are also keeping tabs on him.

But the 29-year-old is keen to stay with Steve Bruce's side and reproduce the form he demonstrated while initially on loan last season.

Pandiani has managed only two Premiership goals during the current campaign and Bruce has already brought in Chris Sutton from Celtic to boost his firepower since the January transfer window opened.

But the Uruguayan is keen to stay although Bruce, who is being linked with QPR's Mark Bircham, may still look to offload him before the window closes if he can bring in another striker.

Pandiani's agent Francis Martin said: 'Walter did not want to move to Mallorca because he preferred to stay with Blues.

'Walter knows that things have not gone well this season but he still feels he can make a significant contribution and he did not feel that going to Mallorca was quite right.'

Pandiani, whose contract runs until the end of the 2007-2008 campaign, has shown his commitment to the club by buying a house just a few hundred yards from the club's Wast Hills training ground.

Sutton, who has signed initially until the end of the season, is expected to make his debut in Saturday's Premiership match at Charlton.

He has shaken hands on a gentleman's agreement with Bruce to extend his stay for another 12 months if the move works out for both parties.