Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has revealed he is close to signing Liverpool’s Emile Heskey in a deal worth £3.5m.

“We are close to agreeing a new deal and we hope to complete it within the next 48 hours,’ said Bruce.

“Hopefully we will be able to make Emile a Birmingham player within the next two days.”

The deal would be worth an initial £3.5m, but would go up to £6m after the player makes a certain number of club and international appearances. Heskey cost Liverpool a record £11m when they signed him from Leicester City in March 2000. The England striker appears surplus to requirements at Anfield, since the club decided to sign Auxerre striker Djibril Cisse.

Bruce confirmed that Heskey would the first of several new arrivals at the club with Leicester City midfielder Muzzy Izzet also extected to join in the next few days.

“If I was a Birmingham City fan I would be quite excited.

“All the players we have earmarked are all proven Premiership players and internationals.

“We have to make sure we bring in the right people to move us forward.

“When we have to compete with the so-called top five (clubs) for players, it is very difficult for us but with anyone bar these clubs we can compete.

“I want the majority of my transfer work done before Euro 2004 starts if I possibly can although I have to be realistic.

“We didn’t sign Mikael Forssell until a week before the transfer deadline last August.”