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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Blues extend Forssell loan
Mikael Forssell
Chelsea have confirmed striker Mikael Forssell is to stay on loan at Birmingham for another season.

The 23-year-old has been a huge success in his first year with Blues and the West Midlands club have been able to retain his services for another season.

The Finnish international told Chelsea's website: "I am proud to be a Chelsea player.

"But I feel that another year working with Birmingham manager Steve Bruce can only aid my development even further."

TOP CHELSEA SCORERS*
Forssell - 17 (for Birmingham)
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - 12
Hernan Crespo - 10
Frank Lampard - 8
Adrian Mutu - 6
Eidur Gudjohnsen - 6
*Premiership goals only
Forssell has three years left on his contract at Chelsea, but has made it clear he is not interested in playing a bit part at Stamford Bridge.

He added: "By being able to play on a regular basis for Birmingham City it has enabled me to improve my game and become a better player.

"I believe that this deal is in the best interests of all three parties.

"For me personally I have progressed as a footballer and by staying in the Midlands for a further year can only be good for my consistency and stability.

"I would like to thank everyone at Chelsea and I will be watching them in the Champions League and cheering them on."

Despite Chelsea's glut of striking talent they are keen to keep the lively forward, who has scored 19 goals for Blues this season.

Birmingham are thought to be keen on a permanent deal for the 5m-rated Forssell, but were happy to be able to keep the player for another season.

Bruce added: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chelsea Football Club for the professionalism they have shown in dealing with this matter throughout."





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27 Apr 04  |  Chelsea



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