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 Thursday, 2 January, 2003, 15:41 GMT
Birmingham land Dugarry
Christophe Dugarry
Dugarry reportedly met Blues officials before Christmas
Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce has hailed the loan signing of France World Cup winning striker Christophe Dugarry as the biggest in the club's history.

Dugarry has signed on loan until the end of the season after consulting other French stars playing in the Premiership about his switch from Bordeaux.

The 30-year-old becomes Bruce's second signing during the January transfer window, as defender Ferdinand Coly is now eligible to play after signing from French club Lens.

Dugarry had not scored for Bordeaux in 16 appearances this season, but he has won 55 caps for France, scoring eight times.

It is the biggest signing this club has ever made

Birmingham City manager Steve Bruce

But he insisted he was happy to be at St Andrews - and boss Bruce is convinced his goals will ensure Premiership survival.

Dugarry said: "I am happy with everything I have seen here. I spoke with Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Laurent Blanc and Fabien Barthez and they told me to sign as quickly as possible.

"I hope to be able to bring something to Birmingham."

The former French international added that he had also moved because he was at odds with Bordeaux coach Elie Baup.

"I do appreciate Elie Baup as a person but I could not agree with him as a coach any more," Dugarry told the daily sports newspaper L'Equipe.

"He is a nice fellow but I could not get along with the coach any more.

"I have had contacts with Birmingham City over the last three weeks but he never talked to me about it. It seems amazing to me," he said.

Bruce insisted Dugarry was the biggest signing Birmingham had ever made.

Bruce is delighted at Dugarry's signing
Bruce is delighted at Dugarry's signing

"When you consider 75 caps for France over the last decade shows magnitude.

"He is a World Cup winner, and has played for Barcelona and AC Milan.

"I think he will be a great favourite. He wears his heart on his sleeve and his talent will not go unnoticed."

Dugarry was part of the France squad which won the World Cup on home soil in 1998 and the European Championships in Holland and Belgium two years later.

Bruce will be hoping Dugarry can add much-needed firepower to his side. The Blues have managed just 19 goals in 22 Premiership matches so far this season.

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 ON THIS STORY
 Birmingham City boss Steve Bruce
"He is a quality player"
 New Blues signing Christophe Dugarry
"I am happy to be here"
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