Friday, January 20, 2006

Euell deal back on?

With Charlton needing to cut back on its surplus stock of forwards, the on-off deal for Jason Euell to move to Birmingham City may be back on.

Steve Bruce is expected to step up his attempts to clinch the signing of Jason Euell next week after fears over the fitness of Emile Heskey and Martin Taylor were allayed. Heskey and Taylor underwent scans on knee and ankle problems respectively which left Bruce to contemplate the prospect of looking for a striker or a central defender if the diagnosis was gloomy. But Heskey has been pronounced fit for Saturday's home clash with Portsmouth while Taylor could be back for the FA Cup tie at Reading next week.

Bruce is keeping his options open and only has the funds to bring in one or two more players before the transfer window closes. But with the concern over Heskey and Taylor having eased, he is almost certain to now try to sign Euell, with the two clubs having already agreed a fee in the region of £1.5million.

Bruce said: 'There is not loads of money to spend. We have got to be very careful. We are hoping we can bring in one, maybe two players. We've got to make sure they are the right ones. Charlton must be scratching their heads about what has been going on but Jason Euell is someone I've always liked as a player, as an attacking midfield player. He has scored goals as a midfield player and is someone we looked at last summer before he picked up his shoulder injury. He would be an excellent addition to the squad but, like I said, we are just weighing up our options carefully. We have got wealthy owners of the football club who have always put some money into Birmingham City but it is not a bottomless well of money.'

Some commentators have suggested that Bruce's own uncertain future with the Blues has been a complicating factor, although he has recently received a vote of confidence from the owners.

If Euell does go to Birmingham, loan deals with Championship clubs for Lisbie, JJ and Jeffers are likely to be the next objective as the club seeks to cut the wage bill.


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