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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Davies makes Birmingham move

Birmingham have confirmed the signing of defender Curtis Davies from Aston Villa.

• Blues sign Obafemi Martins on loan

Davies, 24, who had slipped down the pecking order at Villa Park, had seemed set to sign for Leicester after stating on his Twitter page that he was on his way to the Foxes.

However, the move to Leicester foundered - allowing Birmingham to step in - and a contract was signed on Friday. The transfer fee is believed to be £3.5 million.

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier said earlier on Friday: "He is on his way out to Birmingham. He had the option to go to Leicester or to Birmingham and he has opted for Birmingham. I think he is sold.

"He is a nice lad but, as you know, we have four centre-backs in James Collins, Richard Dunne, Carlos Cuellar and Ciaran Clark. He was not getting enough time to play. I understand that."

Blues boss Alex McLeish clearly views Davies as the man to replace Scott Dann, who will not play again this season on account of injury.

Davies joins two other former Villa players at St Andrew's, with Craig Gardner and Liam Ridgewell both now plying their trade for the blue half of Birmingham.

The former England Under-21 international has jumped at the chance of resurrecting his career, having struggled to assert himself on the Villa team in the last 18 months.

He moved from West Brom to Villa in a £10 million switch four years ago after an initial loan spell. His form when in partnership with Martin Laursen was good enough for him to be named in the senior England squad for the friendly international against Germany in Berlin in November 2008.

But Davies' form dipped after Laursen was forced to hang up his boots during the summer of 2009. He slipped down the pecking order after the arrival of Dunne and Collins 18 months ago and in addition, Cuellar and Clark have moved ahead of him.

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