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Shakira's advice for Pique

The Toe Poke
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By ESPN Staff

Birmingham agree £1m fee with Espanyol for Pandiani

Birmingham players have praised the professionalism during difficult times of outgoing striker Walter Pandiani who is on the verge of completing a £1million move to Espanyol.

Blues have agreed to sell the 29-year-old Uruguayan international for a third of the £3million they paid Deportivo La Coruna for his services in the summer following a successful loan spell.

Pandiani, who is hoping to agree personal terms with Espanyol in the next 24 hours, has struggled to make an impact during the current campaign and has scored only two Premiership goals against Liverpool and Manchester United.

But City keeper Maik Taylor and skipper Kenny Cunningham have nothing but admiration for Pandiani in showing the right attitude during his 12 months at St. Andrews.

Northern Ireland number one Taylor said: 'It has been difficult for him but I rate Walter very highly. I think he has been very unlucky with the way things have been going.

'We all know that he can score goals if he is given the service - but the whole team has not been doing as well as it can do. Unfortunately for Walter he has not been playing as much as he would like.

'He also had the language barrier to contend with to start with but, to be fair to him, he has come on a lot and does understand a hell of a lot now. He has worked extremely hard in trying to breach the language barrier.'

Cunningham said: 'Walter probably hasn't had as many starts as he would have wanted. With the team having struggled, the manager has been forced to chop and change things and look for that winning formula, so Walter has had to be patient at times.

'But no-one could doubt his professionalism. He is a very good trainer. He has turned up every day with the right attitude, he trained hard and even when he has been left out and put on the bench, he has always showed the right kind of attitude.'

Pandiani's departure will provide Bruce with the spending power to try to sign out-of-favour Charlton striker Jason Euell. The City manager watched him in reserve action in midweek.

Chris Sutton is poised to make his debut alongside Emile Heskey against the Addicks at The Valley on Saturday after a full week's training following his move from Celtic.