Midfielder moving to midlands

Birmingham close in on Michel deal

January 7, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Sporting Gijon have announced the departure of midfielder Michel to Birmingham.

Michel keeps tracks on Lionel Messi
AFP / PictureMichel will be happy to leave Lionel Messi behind after moving to the Premier League.

Michel will undertake a medical before completing his move to St Andrew's, for a fee reported to be around £3 million.

The Spanish club stated on their website that the deal had been agreed and that Michel will say his goodbyes to team-mates and Sporting staff tomorrow before departing for England.

The 24-year-old has been a regular in the Sporting first team since 2005 and Birmingham have had a long-held interest in him.

Speaking before Sporting announced the deal, Birmingham manager Alex McLeish said: "We've watched Michel for over a year and a bit now and we need to try and get this one over the line, but it looks likely.

"I think Gijon also hit a stumbling block with getting in a replacement. You can understand their coach's situation when he has to get a replacement, because Michel has been his captain this season and he's rightly trying to cover himself.

Given Michel is expected to be in Spain on Friday morning, it seems unlikely he will be registered by the 12:00 GMT deadline, making him ineligible to face Manchester United on Saturday.