Birmingham snap up Alex Hleb and Martin Jiranek


Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has strengthened his squad with the captures of former Arsenal star Alex Hleb and Spartak Moscow captain Martin Jiranek.

Hleb moves to St Andrew's from Barcelona on a season-long loan arrangement while 31-year-old Czech Republic international Jiranek has penned a one-year contract with the Blues.

McLeish, who had already signed Ben Foster, Nikola Zigic, Matt Derbyshire and Enric Valles since the end of last term, told the club's official website:"Hleb is a top-quality player – one who at one stage we'd only actually dreamed about really.

"Over the past year or so we've talked about 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 out 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 huge international experience and a great pedigree due to playing for clubs such as Stuttgart, Arsenal and Barcelona.

"Jiranek has tremendous experience on club, European and international fronts. He's a good presence and his arrival will keep Roger Johnson and Scott Dann on their toes."

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