Birmingham close to completing Gardner switch
Birmingham are close to completing a deal for Aston Villa midfielder Craig Gardner, according to Blues vice-chairman Peter Pannu.
The two clubs are understood to be on the verge of agreeing a £3.5 million fee for the England Under-21 international.
Villa rejected an initial bid for Gardner and any add-ons relating to the deal have still to be thrashed out.
But Pannu is optimistic Gardner will follow defender Liam Ridgewell in moving directly from Villa to Blues.
Pannu said: "Our offer for Craig Gardner is still on the table and we are pretty close to a deal."
Gardner has come through the academy ranks at Villa but recognises the need to play first-team football at this stage of his career.
He has slipped further down the Villa pecking order this season after the arrival of Fabian Delph from Leeds and also has James Milner, Stewart Downing, Ashley Young, Nigel Reo-Coker, Steve Sidwell and Stiliyan Petrov ahead of him.
Gardner could become Blues boss Alex McLeish's second January signing after Sporting Gijon playmaker Michel.
He also wants to sign a striker with Liverpool's Ryan Babel still on his radar although attempts to sign Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones have floundered.
Blues striker Marcus Bent has returned to the club after a two-and-a-half-month loan spell at Middlesbrough.
Bent will now provide back-up for Cameron Jerome, Christian Benitez and veteran Kevin Phillips.
Latest in Sport
Sky Sports and BT Sport announce Premier League live matches for 2015/16 with Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in action
Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown knocks Rafael Nadal out of the championship
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
Dustin Brown: Who is the world number 102 who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon?
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 4 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture