Jiri Jarosik says he would be "proud" to play for Birmingham City but a loan move from Chelsea will not take place until the Premiership champions tie up the loose ends of a deal to sign Michael Essien from Olympique Lyon.
Steve Bruce, the Birmingham manager, expects to secure the services of Jarosik but probably not in time for the Czech Republic international midfield player to play against Manchester City tomorrow.
Jarosik will move to St Andrew's on loan with a view to a permanent signing and, at 6ft 4in and powerful, he is a typical Bruce player.
"I know about the interest from Birmingham and it is pleasing as Steve Bruce used to be a great player in the past," Jarosik said.
Bruce's response was to describe Jarosik as "a big physical presence" and a player who will provide Birmingham with options.
"We have all been aware of him playing in the CSKA Moscow team," Bruce said. "He played for them over a long period. I remember him turning the game against us while playing for Chelsea when he caught my eye.
"Jarosik is very powerful and good in the air and he has a big physical presence so I've been aware of him playing for the Czech Republic as well as CSKA - he is a very versatile player and, at his best, he is an attacking player.
"It is his versatility which appeals to me and this would enable me to cover any problems that I have in midfield. He can also play off the front, which would also give me an added option."
Bruce has an obvious liking for Chelsea players. Only this summer, he completed the signing of Mikael Forssell and last season snapped up Mario Melchiot and Jesper Gronkjaer from the Stamford Bridge club.
Bruce's desire to sign such high-profile players proves that Birmingham are rapidly making up lost ground on other Premiership clubs by recruiting at the top end of the market.
The manager, however, is being a little cagey at the present and was disappointed that the proposed move for Jarosik was leaked into the media. He also hoped to sign Geremi from Chelsea but the Premiership champions want to keep hold of the Cameroon international midfield player.
Bruce said: "It has been a bit difficult, for obvious reasons, with the Michael Essien transfer and the one thing we do not want to do is upset the people at Chelsea. We hope we can arrange a deal after they have sorted out Essien.
"It would probably be a loan arrangement with a view to making a deal permanent at the end of the season. We would be hopeful of making a quick signing because, with a loan deal, it is all very easy to do. With a loan deal, it can be done in a minute over the fax machine."
Bruce has been forced to recruit another midfield player because of injuries to David Dunn, Stan Lazaridis, Mehdi Nafti and Muzzy Izzet.
Bruce still feels he has to cover all possible setbacks with the transfer window closing on August 31.
Jarosik, aged 27, has promised to to abide by any decision Jos> Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, makes over his proposed loan move to Birmingham.
The Czech, who visited his homeland this week, will discuss his options with Bruce today but knows that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has the final say.
The signing of Shaun Wright- Phillips and the impending arrival of Essien, for a combined total of almost £50 million, has further limited Jarosik's opportunities for breaking into the team at Stamford Bridge.
He has started only three times for the Premiership champions since moving from CSKA Moscow in January 2004 but would prefer a loan move, rather than a clean break with the club, as he still holds out hope of forcing his way into the first team.
"I have not decided definitely," Jarosik said. "I am waiting to hear the opinion of coach Mourinho - he is the key person to decide. Maybe I will talk to him right after our first training session.
"I would prefer a loan, hopefully Chelsea are not thinking about a transfer. I think it should not be a problem [for Birmingham] to take over my contract with Chelsea, it is not anything too demanding. I would probably not go somewhere to worsen my financial conditions."
Jarosik turned down an offer from his former club to return to the Russian capital but admitted he would consider returning there during the winter transfer window.
"I want to be in the eyes of Jos> Mourinho. The competition at Chelsea after the arrival of Essien is even higher, so we will see.
"We may return to the negotiations with CSKA in the winter. I may not say for sure that I am not going to play for them next year."