Blues ready to sign Polish captain

Birmingham manager Steve Bruce today revealed he is “close” to making Poland captain Piotr Swierczewski his fifth signing since the transfer window opened on January 1.

Birmingham manager Steve Bruce today revealed he is “close” to making Poland captain Piotr Swierczewski his fifth signing since the transfer window opened on January 1.

Swierczewski has been training with the Blues for the last week and Bruce wants to secure a loan deal with his club Marseille until the end of the season.

The player has won 68 caps for his country and has created a good impression during his time at Wast Hills training ground.

Bruce said: “Piotr has been with us for a week, has done very well and we are close to possibly doing a short-term deal for him until the end of the season. Then we’ll review the whole situation.

“Over the last week he has done remarkably well. He’s captain of his country, has a good pedigree and would be a good addition.”

Bruce is continuing to try and sign Slovakian striker Robert Vittek from Slovan Bratislava, again for an initial loan period.

The player, who featured against England for his country in last October’s Euro 2004 qualifier, came over to train with City last week but the inclement weather meant Bruce had little opportunity to look at him.

He will return for another spell with the club after the weekend and then the Blues chief will try to thrash out a deal.

He said: “We invited him over to come and train last week but could only see him indoors. We’d like to see him on grass outdoors, so he’s coming back next week for three or four days.

“We’ll have a look at him, let him have a look at us and see if there’s anything doing as regards a deal.

“We’ve been talking over the last week or so and are looking to explore the avenue of having him on loan initially, and we want to see if his club are interested in that.”

Arsenal central defender Matthew Upson also remains a strong target for Bruce, who tabled a £3million bid with the Gunners two weeks ago.

Bruce said: “We won’t give up hope. I’ll be patient and go right up until the end of the transfer window if that has to be the case. The fact he has not said yes or no gives you hope.”

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