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Projecting MLS Cup semis, title winner

Major League Soccer
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.'