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By ESPN Staff

Argentine starlet Zarate joins Blues on loan

Birmingham have signed Argentinian striker Mauro Zarate on loan until the end of the season in their bid to preserve Barclays Premier League status.

Zarate, whose move from Qatar's Al Sadd could be made permanent in the summer, follows the arrivals of David Murphy and James McFadden at St Andrews.

The 20-year-old hit his country's winner in the final of the Under-20 World Cup last year.

'He's one of the Argentinian young guns that were successful in the championships last summer,' City manager Alex McLeish told the club website.

'I don't want to compare him to the Argentinian greats but he is of that mould. He has great balance and mobility.

'He can play anywhere along the front four. It's another bit of competition up there but more importantly it's somebody that we think can create something out of nothing.'

Birmingham are currently 16th in the table but sit level on points with Sunderland, the team occupying the final relegation place.