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Birmingham City sign Sporting Gijon midfielder Michel

Michel and Real Madrid's Marcelo
Birmingham tried to sign Michel (left) in the summer

Birmingham City have signed playmaker Michel from Sporting Gijon for £3m after the 24-year-old passed a medical.

The Spaniard is boss Alex McLeish's first signing of the transfer window.

Michel has made 138 appearances and scored seven times for the La Liga outfit since breaking into Gijon's side during the 2006/06 season.

"He is in a great age group and has got good legs and a lovely touch as you would imagine from a Spanish player in La Liga," said McLeish.

Michel was named as the Asturian outfit's player of the season during each of their last two campaigns and is unlikely to be McLeish's only acquisition during the current transfer window.

McLeish has been told he has between £20m-£40m to spend by the club's new owner Carson Yeung.


The Blues have already had bids for Celtic winger Aiden McGeady and Liverpool forward Ryan Babel turned down and are also said to be interested in Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones.

Regarding further new arrivals, McLeish insisted there was nothing imminent but that he "remains interested in one or two players".

But he also pointed to inflated prices at the start of January and bigger price tags on the continent as reasons why the market as a whole - and Birmingham's activity - has not yet taken off.

"If there's £20m to spend then I'm sure Carson means that but whether I spend that remains to be seen," he said.

"I would probably need to bring four or five players in to get through that money. I'm certainly not going to spend it on one player because I don't think we're ready for that step.

"There are a few clubs that are desperate for cash and we're aware of that as well.

"So prices can be inflated at the beginning of the month and they start to see sense towards the end of January."

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see also
Birmingham's McGeady bid rebuffed
07 Jan 10 |  Birmingham
Birmingham's 8m Babel bid fails
06 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Blues prepare fresh bid for Boyd
03 Jan 10 |  Rangers
Birmingham agree Gijon friendly
17 Jun 09 |  Birmingham

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