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By ESPN Staff

Villa's Cahill set for Birmingham talks

Birmingham are poised to hold talks with Aston Villa central defender Gary Cahill over a possible £5million move to St Andrews.

And sources close to the 22-year-old are optimistic he could look favourably on following Liam Ridgewell from Villa to Blues.

Bolton had a bid accepted yesterday for Cahill who has recently returned from a three-month loan spell with Sheffield United.

But that prompted City, who had originally hoped to sign the player on loan, to match their offer which comprises a £4million down payment plus another £1million in add ons.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has been singing the praises of Cahill for several weeks once he made it clear signing a central defender was one of his priorities during the January transfer window.

Ridgewell has proved that switching from Villa to Blues will not be a problem in terms of winning over the fans and he was made captain when Damien Johnson was out injured.

He has become a firm favourite among Birmingham supporters with his whole-hearted approach to the game.

And Ridgewell has assured Cahill that he can be assured of a similar welcome if he proves his worth and commitment to the cause.

Ridgewell said: 'I'd like to see Gary join us. He just wants to play first team football. It would be good to link up with Gary again.

'People make a lot about the move between Villa and Birmingham but you just want to play football. You just want to play week in and week out.

'That's what I wanted and so does Gary now and I've got on well with the fans here.'