Brum swoop to sign Ridgewell and Queudrue

August 3, 2007

Birmingham manager Steve Bruce has finally signed Aston Villa defender Liam Ridgewell in a £2million deal after an eight-month chase for his signature.

Blues had a bid for Ridgewell rejected in January and an 11th hour attempt to sign the player on loan before the transfer window closed - after the departure of Matthew Upson to West Ham - was also turned down.

But Bruce has continued to track the former England Under-21 player and he has agreed to move to St Andrews on a three-year contract with a further two-year option.

Former West Ham youngster Ridgewell spent eight years with Villa, initially signing as a schoolboy, and he becomes Bruce's 10th summer signing.

The 23-year-old's arrival follows hot on the heels of left back Franck Queudrue who signed from Fulham earlier today in a £2.5million deal.

He made his first-team debut for Villa in 2003 against Blackburn in the FA Cup and made more than 90 appearances for club, scoring six goals.

Ridgewell looked to have established a regular first-team spot at Villa during David O'Leary's final season in charge.

But he gradually slipped down the pecking order after the arrival of Martin O'Neill last summer and was fourth in line behind Olof Mellberg, Gary Cahill and Martin Laursen.

O'Neill said: 'Liam wanted to play first-team football and we wish him well in his future career.'