Birmingham City have beaten off competition from top European clubs to sign the Ecuador striker Christian Benitez from Mexican side Santos Laguna. Blues confirmed a fee ? thought to be a club record ? had been agreed for the 23 year old, who will travel to England for a medical next week having agreed personal terms. Although the fee is undisclosed it is set to surpass the £6.25 million (Dh38m) paid for Emile Heskey in 2004 and is reported to be in the region of £9m. Benitez ? son of the Ecuador's all-time leading goalscorer, Ermen ? starred in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and has scored 31 goals in 58 games in Mexico's Primera Division over the last two campaigns. He recently underwent surgery on a shoulder injury and is unlikely to be involved when Ecuador play World Cup qualifiers against Peru (7 June) and Argentina (10 June). The club are confident of acquiring a work permit for the striker as he has played in 85 per cent of Ecuador's competitive A grade games over the last two years ? well above the required amount.