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Wednesday, 13 December, 2000, 18:58 GMT
Francis wants Burchill permanently
Dele Adebola
Adebola will remain on the transfer list
Birmingham manager Trevor Francis wants to complete the signing of Mark Burchill before the striker's three-month loan spell at the club ends.

Burchill, rated at 1.5m, moved on a temporary basis from Celtic but has only two weeks of his loan move remaining.

Francis says Burchill has fitted in well at Birmingham and has had talks with the player about the move.

Being on the transfer list is not a problem because I am playing at the moment
  Dele Adebola

"I have spoken to Mark on various occasions and he would like, if everything is right, to come to Birmingham City," said Francis.

"He is keen to get something sorted out which is understandable and we had a long meeting last Tuesday when he asked what my thoughts were.

"Although he didn't state that he wants to come here at all costs, I can read between the lines and, all being well, he would love to sign for the club."

Francis is waiting on a proposed sponsorship deal to go through for the club to help raise the finances to buy Burchill.

"If it were to happen it would put us in a much better position to consider taking Mark.

Available funds

"At the moment things are going well on the field and there's never been a better moment for me as a manager than now to strengthen the side."

"I am hoping we can pull this off (the Burchill deal) in the next couple of weeks."

Francis has led his side to the semi-finals of the Worthington Cup and they are also challenging strongly for promotion.

Francis added that he would like a "very strong midfield player" and a right-back if the funds became available.

Burchill's fellow striker at St Andrews, Dele Adebola, scored in Birmingham's quarter-final win against Sheffield Wednesday in the Worthington Cup.

Adebola scored two against Tottenham and one against Newcastle in the same competition but Francis says the striker will remain on the club's transfer list.

"If I take him off the list I won't get that type of performance," said Francis. "He's a laid-back sort of guy who doesn't have a malicious streak in him.

"But there are times where you could strangle him because he's got all the ability in the world and, as a manager, he frustrates you because you can't quite get it out of him on a regular basis."

Adebola said: "Being on the transfer list is not a problem because I am playing at the moment. As long as I am playing then I'm happy."

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