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Last Updated: Friday, 10 June, 2005, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Birmingham seal Forssell transfer
Mikael Forssell
Birmingham have signed Chelsea's Mikael Forssell in a 3m deal.

Boss Steve Bruce swooped after Everton pulled out of a deal amid reported concerns about the 24-year-old's Finnish striker's recent knee injury.

But Forssell has passed a medical and completed his return to the club where he was a major success on loan in 2003/4, when he scored 19 goals.

Bruce is now hoping to sign a midfield player, with Newcastle's unsettled Lee Bowyer a possible target.

When Everton's move for Forssell stalled, Birmingham seized on the chance to sign a player they have long admired and managing director Karren Brady worked on a compromise package with Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon.

Birmingham are mindful of Forssell's knee condition which meant that his second season on loan was cut short last September after just a handful of appearances.

The 24-year-old joined Chelsea from HJK Helsinki seven years ago, while Ruud Gullit was manager, but played little first-team football for the Stamford Bridge club.

He had loan spells at Crystal Palace, Borussia Monchengladbach and latterly Birmingham, and there was strong interest in him from within the Premiership and abroad this summer.

German giants Schalke were among the clubs to target Forssell, while Everton were close to clinching a deal before pulling out.

Birmingham's view is that Forssell's problem can be managed given the right supervision from the club's medical staff, and they are keen to pair him with Emile Heskey, last summer's club record 6.25m signing from Liverpool.


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