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Birmingham close in on Zigic deal

Serbia striker Nikola Zigic is on the verge of completing a £6 million move to Birmingham City after flying in for a medical with the Premier League club.

Zigic, one of the tallest players in the game at 6' 8", has struggled to make an impression with Valencia in La Liga but was prolific in a loan spell at Racing Santander in the second half of the 2008-09 campaign.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has had his eye on the striker for a long time but is maintaining his policy of not commenting on potential signings until any deal has been completed.

Zigic has been linked with Stoke City, Blackburn Rovers, Portsmouth and Sunderland but sources close to Blues indicated that the midlands club are "further down the line than anybody" in the race to sign the 29-year-old.

McLeish would only say: "There are irons in the fire. We've been linked with one or two players, we have put in bids for players.

"It would be unfair of me to talk about names at the moment. It would be unfair to the clubs and also to the fans if things don't happen.

"But I think they will be excited about one or two of the names we are pursuing and what we are trying to add to the squad is players of quality."

Zigic has been tipped by Serbian coach Raddy Antic to be one of the stars of the forthcoming World Cup and he has netted 16 times in 42 internationals.

The striker initially made his name at Red Star Belgrade with 71 goals in 110 games before moving to Racing Santander. A £15 million switch to Valencia followed in 2007 but he has struggled to make his mark and is looking for a new challenge.

However, Zigic will have to accept a vastly reduced wage packet to leave Los Che. He is reported to be on £60,000-a-week at the Mestalla.


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