Jeremie Bela: Birmingham City sign French striker after exit from Spanish side Albacete

France-born Jeremie Bela is qualified to play for Angola and was called up for their pre-tournament squad ahead of this summer's Africa Cup of Nations
France-born Jeremie Bela is qualified to play for Angola and was called up for their pre-tournament squad ahead of this summer's Africa Cup of Nations

Birmingham City have signed French striker Jeremie Bela on a three-year deal following a contract row with his previous club, Spanish side Albacete.

The 26-year-old still needs international clearance but as a free agent would be available to play straight away, having already spent some time training with Blues.

He had been in dispute with Albacete, who wanted him to sign a new deal.

But Albacete have now agreed to void his contract extension for this season.

Bela, who has been a long-time target for Blues, becomes the ninth signing made by Blues boss Pep Clotet since he was appointed caretaker head-coach on 20 June.

He follows the summer signings of Croatian midfielder Ivan Sunjic, on-loan defender Jake Clarke-Salter, goalkeeper Moha Ramos, former England Under-19 midfielder Dan Crowley and Spanish striker Alvaro Gimenez.

Spanish midfielder Fran Villalba, Ecuador winger Jefferson Montero and former Chelsea and Brentford midfielder Josh McEachran. have also arrived at St Andrew's.

Blues are 12th in the Championship, three points off of a play-off place - and 10 points clear of trouble.

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