Premier League - Busy Birmingham sign Hleb

PA Sport - Tue, 31 Aug 16:14:00 2010

Birmingham have signed former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb on a season-long loan deal.

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The 29-year-old is the Blues' seventh summer signing and one of three on deadline day after they also completed a deal for defender Martin Jiranek and Jean Beausejour.

Hleb made 89 appearances for Arsenal before leaving the club to join Barcelona two years ago.

The Belarus international has struggled for first-team football in Catalonia, however, and was also farmed out on a season-long loan the German side Stuttgart last season.

"Hleb is a top quality player - one who at one stage we'd only actually dreamed about really," Blues boss Alex McLeish told the club's official website.

"Over the past year or so we have talked him but with no real belief we could get him. We decided to give it a try and towards the end of the window we found it might be possible.

"This is a major signing for us and we are very happy to have him here. He is an extremely creative type, who is skilful, a great dribbler and has an excellent touch and quick feet.

"He has international experience and a great pedigree due to playing for clubs such as Stuttgart, Arsenal and Barcelona.

"As with all the players we have brought to the club in recent times I'd like to thank the board for their support in making this happen."

Czech Republic defender Jiranek, 31, joins the Blues on a one-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

McLeish added: "We are short at the back with regards to defensive cover.

"Jiranek has tremendous experience on club, European and international fronts.

"He is a good presence and his arrival will keep Roger Johnson and Scott Dann on their toes."

Jiranek, who has 31 international caps, cost Spartak 4.7 million in 2004.

Chile winger Beausejour signs on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Club America.

Meanwhile, the Blues allowed striker Marcus Bent to join Premier League rivals Wolves on a four-month loan deal.

"Marcus is an experienced striker who has played plenty of Premier League football and scored goals," said Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey.

"People still talk about whether we've got enough Premier League experience, and Marcus will add to that.

"He's also a different type of striker to what we have in that he's a physical presence. We needed someone after the departure of Andy Keogh and Marcus can do a job for us."

Bent has fallen down the pecking order at St Andrew's following the arrivals of Nikola Zigic and Matt Derbyshire. He spent parts of last season on loan at Middlesbrough and QPR.

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