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By ESPN Staff

Bruce ponders Euell move again

Birmingham manager Steve Bruce is deciding whether to revive his interest in Charlton midfielder Jason Euell at the 11th hour after completing the loan signing of defender Martin Latka from Slavia Prague.

Blues agreed a fee of around £1.5million with the Addicks nearly a fortnight ago, with Bruce also keen on signing Rangers hotshot Peter Lovenkrands.

But an injury crisis in defence - Kenny Cunningham and Martin Taylor are currently sidelined - led to a change in policy, but Bruce's worries have now been eased by the capture of Latka.

He will stay at St Andrews for the remainder of the campaign with a view to a permanent £1.7million move in the summer.

Bruce does not have huge amounts of money at his disposal which is why he had to stall on the Euell deal, but the loan signing of Latka may give him some leeway in the final 24 hours before the transfer window closes.

Bruce, who has also been linked with Tottenham defender Anthony Gardner, said: 'The deal for Euell was completed a week or so ago with the respective clubs but, if I had got Jason in, all the money available would have probably gone.

'In that area of the park we are quite strong even though Jason would be a great addition to the squad.

'I've not got pots full of money and whoever I bring in has to be able to make an immediate impact in terms of what we need.

'In an ideal world I would love to bring in three or four players but the finances mean it will be maybe one or two.'

Rangers are looking for a £1million fee for Lovenkrands, who is out of contract in the summer, and Blues are reluctant to pay that amount.

In addition, Birmingham would prefer to offer Lovenkrands a short-term deal whereas he would prefer a lengthy contract.

Latka has become City's second January signing after striker Chris Sutton who came on a free transfer from Celtic.

The 21-year-old has represented the Czech Republic at under-21 level and will be in contention for Wednesday's Barclays Premiership clash at Liverpool assuming international clearance is received in time.

Bruce said: 'We've had Martin watched a couple of times and he comes highly recommended. He is a strong player and he is young which is always a big bonus.

'In my opinion we've been short defensively for the best part of a year. We've got away with it because of the playing records and consistency of especially Kenny Cunningham and Matthew Upson.'