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Page last updated at 17:59 GMT, Monday, 31 January 2011

Obafemi Martins completes Birmingham move

Obafemi Martins (right) in action against Barcelona in the Champions League
Martins (right) spent three years at Newcastle United

Birmingham have signed striker Obafemi Martins from Russian club Rubin Kazan on a six-month loan deal.

The 26-year-old received a work permit and passed a medical on Monday to complete the formalities of the deal.

"He's an explosive type of player and is similar to Christian Benitez but with more experience," said Blues manager Alex McLeish.

"He has great pace, is two-footed, very good in the air and I'm sure he's a signing that will excite the fans."

Martins joins midfielder David Bentley and defender Curtis Davies as a new arrival at the Blues in January.

"I am certain these new additions will augment and supplement what we already have," Birmingham acting chairman Peter Pannu told the club's website.

Tilton Road

"They will create some competition within the team for places, which benefits the whole squad."

Rubin coach Kurban Berdiyev said: "His child was born and he asked to let him go to England, because Obafemi wants to be closer to his family."

Nigeria international Martins, who has also played for Italian side Inter Milan, spent three years with Newcastle United.

He scored 39 goals in 105 games for the Magpies before leaving for German outfit Wolfsburg.

The player's agent told BBC Sport's Oluwashina Okeleji that West Bromwich Albion had offered the same money as Birmingham for his signature.

"Few things separated the interested parties but we are confident the right choice was made," said agent Nicola Walter.

"Everything concerning the paperwork should be sorted in couple of days."

Martins joined Rubin at the end of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but he failed to settle after his big-money move from Wolfsburg.

The forward, who started his career at Nigerian side FC Ebedei, attracted interest from the Middle East but has opted for a return to England.

Obafemi Martins scores for Newcastle Utd

Martins rocket for Newcastle

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see also
McLeish team talk sparked victory
27 Jan 11 |  League Cup
Birmingham wrap up Zigic signing
26 May 10 |  Birmingham
Nigeria's Martins heads to Russia
09 Jul 10 |  African
Obafemi Martins looks ahead to life in Russia
24 Jul 10 |  Africa horizontal
Striker Martins joins Wolfsburg
01 Aug 09 |  Newcastle

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