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By ESPN Staff

Birmingham eager to keep hold of Bendtner

David Gold has insisted Birmingham will do everything they can to sign on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner on a permanent basis - if they regain their Premiership status.

Bendtner has made a massive impression during the first half of the season at St Andrews, scoring 10 goals and helping Blues to the top of the Championship.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has given permission for the 18-year-old, who has already broken into the senior Danish side, to remain at Birmingham until the end of the campaign.

But City chairman Gold will pull out all the stops to sign Bendtner permanently if the midlands club return to the top flight after a one-season absence.

And he can see comparisons with former French World Cup winner Christophe Dugarry who spent a brief but successful spell at Birmingham.

Gold said: 'I have to say Nicklas is a quality player - and we do everything we can to keep quality players. If there is a route forward to do that, I would be delighted.

'Do I see a young Dugarry in him? Yes I suppose I do in a way. We saw Dugarry at the end of his career but we did get flashes of his skills. I think Bendtner is a better goalscorer than Dugarry.

'He is young, 18, still got lots to learn but he looks very promising.'

Gold admitted: 'Any hopes of signing Nicklas would depend on us being promoted. You have to be realistic. This young man wants to play in the Premiership. At the same time he is a player that wants to play.

'He gets upset when he is substituted or left out. He really wants to play. That's a great joy to see that in a player. What I am alluding to is would he enjoy being in the reserves at Arsenal?

'For us he would become one of the main men but he is Arsenal's player, it is their decision and we have to respect that.'