Transfer Talk: Michel close to joining McLeish's high-flyers

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The Independent Football

The Spanish holding midfielder Michel will join Birmingham City from Sporting Gijon, possibly as early as today, subject to a medical. The Birmingham manager, Alex McLeish, was confident of his 24-year-old £2.5m acquisition and said: "He takes the ball. He's unfazed with the ball at his feet. He can make tackles and I want that kind of quality here but he'll realise [he might have a problem] getting into the team."

Move to Moscow ends Voronin's Reds spell

Ukraine striker Andrei Voronin has left Liverpool to join Dinamo Moscow on a three-year contract. "The transfer of Andrei Voronin is a done deal," Konstantin Sarsania, the Russian club's sporting director said yesterday. Voronin returned to Anfield this season after spending the year before on loan at Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga. Liverpool said they had agreed a £1.8 million transfer fee with Dinamo.

Long shots

Fulham are close to agreeing a move for 20-year-old Roma forward Stefano Okaka, and will offer Eric Nevland a new contract. Stoke are the latest team to hope to bring Ruud Van Nistelrooy back to the Premier League. "We've made enquiries and we'll see what comes from them," the Potters' chairman Peter Coates said. The Dutch defender Jos Hooiveld has travelled to Glasgow for a medical and is close to finalising a £1.5m move from Swedish champions AIK to Celtic.

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