Transfer Talk: Lure of Premier League convinces Routledge to make Magpies move

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The Independent Online

Newcastle United have completed the signing of Wayne Routledge on a three-and-a-half year deal from Championship rivals QPR. The 25-year-old winger joins Chris Hughton's side for an undisclosed fee who are thought to have beaten Teesside rivals Middlesbrough to the winger's signature.

Routledge, who was part of the Hoops side that drew 1-1 at St James' Park earlier in this season, has made 24 Championship appearances scoring two goals and is expected to go straight into the Newcastle squad for tonight's game with old club Crystal Palace. Routledge cited the prospect of Premier League football as a key motivation behind the move saying, "As soon as I knew of the chance to come here I jumped at it."

Gardner 'over the moon' after sealing move to Birmingham

Birmingham City have completed the signing of midfielder Craig Gardner for £3m from Aston Villa. The 23-year-old, who can also play at full-back, has been at Villa Park since he was a trainee and has made 79 appearances for Villa. Gardner was delighted to have signed for Birmingham.

"I'm over the moon especially being at the club I supported as a boy," he said. Gardner had fallen down the pecking order at Aston Villa.

He said: "I just can't wait to get out there, put the shirt on and do well for the club. I have not slept properly for three or four days. Now it's done, it's unbelievable."

The former England under-21 international is ineligible for the trip to Chelsea tonight due to negotiations not being concluded in time.

Elsewhere...

United States international Stuart Holden has joined Bolton until the end of the season from Houston Dynamo. The midfielder, who is set to play at the World Cup later this year, said he is "very happy to have the chance to play for Bolton in one of the greatest leagues in the world".

Celtic have bolstered their attacking options after completing the signing of Brondby striker Morten Rasmussen for an undisclosed fee. Manchester City have been told they must up their bid if they are to acquire the services of Real Madrid's Fernando Gago, with the Spanish club valuing the Argentine at £18m.

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