Birmingham look to Dugarry

Former France forward Christophe Dugarry has joined Birmingham City FC until the end of the season.

World Cup winner
The 30-year-old, who was a member of France's 1998 FIFA World Cup and EURO 2000™-winning squads, has signed on loan with his long-term future apparently dependent on Birmingham's Premiership survival. Birmingham are currently 15th in the table in their first season in England's top flight for 16 years.

Good pedigree
Dugarry, who won 55 caps for France before retiring from international football last summer, includes AC Milan and FC Barcelona among his former clubs. He returned to Bordeaux, his hometown team, from Olympique de Marseille and helped them win the French League Cup in 2001/02. However, he failed to score in 16 appearances for the Girondins this season.

'Our biggest signing'
Birmingham manager Steve Bruce, who has already added Senegalese defender Ferdinand Coly to his squad, said: "To have someone of his credentials is a massive, massive thing for us. Once I had met him, two weeks ago, he shook my hand then and said he would like to come. He has been true to his word. It is the biggest signing this club has ever made."

French connection
Dugarry himself said he had taken the advice of his former international colleagues in signing for the St Andrews club: "I spoke to Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and Laurent Blanc and they told me it was the championship for me. They told me to sign as quickly as I could."