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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Birmingham sign Heskey
Birmingham and England striker Emile Heskey
Birmingham have signed Liverpool striker Emile Heskey for an initial fee of 3.5m, which could rise to 6.25m.

The striker who is in England's squad for Euro 2004, has put pen to paper on a five-year contract at St Andrews.

Heskey, 26, was Liverpool's record signing when he joined from Leicester in 2000 for 11m, and he scored 60 goals in 277 appearances for the Reds.

Birmingham boss Steve Bruce said: "This is an absolutely fantastic signing for the club - I am really excited."

Birmingham already have Mikael Forssell on another year's loan from Chelsea, and he should form a strike partnership with Heskey next season.

Leicester's Muzzy Izzet is being lined up on a Bosman free transfer - which would reunite the midfielder with ex-Foxes team-mates Heskey and Robbie Savage.

Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer is also a target - with Bruce promising to get most of his transfer market work done before his squad returns to pre-season training.

I think at the start it will be Heskey and Mikael
Clinton Morrison is resigned to losing his place

Speaking to the club's website, Bruce added: "Emile is still only 26 years old, has 40 England caps to his name and will be representing his country at Euro 2004.

"To pull off a signing like this is quite remarkable and I am really excited to add Emile to the squad for next season.

"Hopefully, he will be the first of several high-profile signings that we will be making this summer."

Republic of Ireland frontman Clinton Morrison - who partnered Forssell up front this season - expects to lose his place to Heskey.

"I think at the start it will be Heskey and Mikael because Mikael's had a great season and the club have paid a lot of money for Heskey," he said.

"But you've got to fight for your position and there will be a lot of competition for places here next season.

"Emile is a big man, he can lead the line, that's the job he does well and that's why he plays for England. He's a tremendous talent and he will do very well for Birmingham."

Birmingham boss Steve Bruce
"The signing shows how far we've come"

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