Birmingham have completed the signing of left-back Franck Queudrue from Fulham in a deal which could be worth £2.5million.
The 28-year-old has signed a three-year contract and committed himself to Blues until the summer of 2010.
He becomes City manager Steve Bruce’s ninth summer signing and Aston Villa defender Liam Ridgewell is also expected to move to St Andrews within the next 24 hours.
Queudrue will provide competition at left-back for Mat Sadler who recently signed a new three year contract.
He will also be reunited with his former Middlesbrough team-mate Stuart Parnaby, who moved from the Riverside on a Bosman free transfer last month.
Birmingham will pay an initial £2million to the Cottagers but the fee could eventually rise by another £500,000 in add-ons.
Queudrue has plenty of Barclays Premier League experience to draw upon in his bid to keep Blues in the top flight after gaining promotion from the Coca-Cola Championship.
Birmingham are set to seal the signing of Franck Queudrue.
The Fulham defender is keen to leave Craven Cottage just 12 months after quitting Middlesbrough for the capital.
A number of clubs including Newcastle have been linked with a move for the talented left-back, but Birmingham now look set to seal a swoop.
Queudrue’s agent Dominique Six confirmed talks were ongoing and a deal should be struck soon.
“Nothing is done yet as we’ve still got a few points to negotiate but we should be fixed on Thursday,” Six told skysports.com.
Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez has already signed Paul Konchesky from West Ham, knowing Queudrue was not in his plans for the new Premier League season.
Franck Queudrue is ready to leave Fulham due to Lawrie Sanchez’s style of play.
The French full back only moved to Craven Cottage from Middlesbrough last summer but the sacking of Chris Coleman and Sanchez’s adoption of a more direct approach have led to him questioning his future.
Quedrue told Football365.fr: “We can’t say that the club had a good season. Regarding our squad, we could have done better. I left Middlesbrough because I felt it was the right moment for me. I experienced everything with them and didn’t want to play like it was a routine.
“Then Fulham contacted me and Chris Coleman’s speech seduced me. He wanted to rebuild the club. I love that kind of challenge. Lawrie Sanchez is totally different. He is an expert in direct football. I respect it but it isn’t for me. We talked about it together. I haven’t made a transfer request, but I will study the possibilities. A departure is possible.”
Franck Quedrue’s first goal for Fulham deep into stoppage time denied Alan Pardew a winning start in charge of Charlton.
First half strikes from Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent looked to have got the former West Ham manager’s reign at the Valley off to the perfect start but Quedrue’s late, late show rescued a point that the visitors barely merited. There was controversy about the goal, too, with Fulham awarded a free-kick for handball by Djimi Traore just inside the Charlton half when television replays showed the offence had actually been committed by Tomasz Radzinski.
Many pundits believe Pardew is taking over a poisoned chalice at Charlton, who are marooned deep in relegation trouble, but there was plenty to like about the Addicks’ first display under his stewardship. Determination was in evidence throughout – especially in the manner that the hosts battled back from going behind to Brian McBride’s early strike – and Pardew might soon have a solution to his new side’s central defensive woes with former Hearts defender Steven Pressley watching on.
Conceding so early wouldn’t have been in Pardew’s gameplan – nor would the lack of marking from Wayne Routledge’s free kick that allowed Queudrue to rattle the crossbar with a header and McBride to pounce on the rebound. But it took just six minutes for Ambrose to restore parity and atone for his carelessness in conceding the free-kick. Antti Niemi was surprised by a shot from Jerome Thomas and the former Newcastle midfielder drove home off the post.
Charlton were galvanised by the equaliser and Darren Bent, who had seen an earlier strike ruled out for offside, put them in front when he sauntered in behind the Fulham defence after Carlos Bocanegra and Moritz Volz left the task of dealing with Scott Carson’s long kick to one another. The hosts wasted two brilliant chances to kill off the game early in the second half. First, Ambrose shot wide after being teed up by a clever dummy from Marcus Bent and then Matt Holland shot weakly at Niemi when space open up on the edge of the box.
It took until three minutes into added time for Fulham to conjure up their equaliser. After being given the fortunate free kick Michael Brown’s ball was brilliantly volleyed in the net by Queudrue off his weaker foot. Pardew could only hold his head in disbelief at what he had witnessed.
CHARLTON ATHLETIC (4-4-2): Carson; Sankofa, El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Traore; Ambrose (Hughes 74), Kishishev, Holland, Thomas (Rommedahl 45); M. Bent (Hasselbaink 82), D. Bent. Subs (not used): Myhre, Fortune.
GOALS: Ambrose (19), D. Bent (45).
FULHAM (4-4-2): Niemi; Rosenior, Quedrue, Christanval, Bocanegra; Brown, Volz (C. Jensen 74), Routledge, Radzinski; Helguson (John 65), McBride. Subs (not used): Lastuvka, Zakuani, Runstrom.
GOALS: McBride (13), Queudrue (90).
REFEREE: Graham Poll (Hertfordshire).
Fulham left-back Franck Queudrue still hopes to win a first France cap – and believes the club’s progress can help him achieve his ambition.
The 28-year-old former Lens defender joined Fulham in the summer after a five-year spell with Middlesbrough.
He excelled for the Cottagers in their 2-1 win over Charlton on Monday night and said: “I know the job pretty well and I’m never one to give up.
“Yes, of course, I hold out hope for a (France) call-up, but I stand by the fact that the only way you can be selected is if you are performing for your club. I was trusted to produce the goods when I came here and it is my responsibility to do just that.
“I will always do my best and show passion for the game – and after that it becomes a matter of what the club can achieve. Fulham finished 12th last season and now the aim must be to push on into the top 10. We’ve done well, losing just twice in the Premiership so far this season.
“And the next step after establishing ourselves in the top 10 must be to qualify for Europe. I feel Fulham has great potential and can do that in the coming years by way of league position or winning cups.”