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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Man City sign Ball from PSV

Michael Ball has left Dutch league leaders PSV Eindhoven to join Manchester City in a permanent move and has penned a contract with the Eastlands club until the end of the season.

He became Stuart Pearce's second signing of the transfer window after a successful week-long trial, following Djamel Abdoun's move from French club Ajaccio.

Ball joined Everton as a youngster and played his way into Sven-Goran Eriksson's first England squad, winning his first and only cap against Spain in 2001, but unsuccessful moves to Rangers and PSV followed.

Birmingham completed the biggest early deal with the capture of Arsenal midfielder Sebastian Larsson in a 1million deal.

Larsson has impressed Blues boss Steve Bruce since signing on a season-long loan from the Gunners.

There was always a contingency plan for City to make the move permanent and Larsson has committed himself to St Andrews until the summer of 2011 after signing a four-year contract, which will commence when his loan deal expires at the end of the season.

He said: ``It has been an important decision for me to make, and I am at that stage of my career now where I wanted to make the right decision - and believe I have.

City have also signed unattached winger Pat Kavanagh, 21, on a six-month contract today.

Elsewhere in the Premiership, Bolton have signed midfielder David Thompson from Portsmouth from a nominal fee.

The 29-year-old made 15 appearances for Pompey after moving to Fratton Park on a free transfer from Wigan in the summer.

Former Liverpool, Blackburn and Wigan midfielder Thompson joins Lubomir Michalik and Zoltan Harsanyi as new arrivals at the Reebok Stadium in the transfer window.

There has been little action elsewhere in the top flight, although Stoke captain Michael Duberry is having talks with Reading over a possible move to the Madejski Stadium after invoking a clause in his contract.

The clause, agreed when the 31-year-old former Chelsea and Leeds defender joined the Championship club in March 2005, allows him to talk to a Premiership club who bid a fixed amount for him.

All today's other deals involving sides in the top division have been loans, most notably Reto Ziegler from Tottenham to Sampdoria, Bjorn Runstrom to Luton from Fulham, Geoff Horsfield from Sheffield United to Leicester and midfielder Simon Walton from Charlton to Cardiff.

In the Championship, German winger Marco Reich has left Crystal Palace to join Kickers Offenbach on a free transfer.

The 29-year-old penned an 18-month deal with the Eagles little more than a year ago after impressing former manager Iain Dowie, but he has struggled to make an impact under current boss Peter Taylor and has returned to his homeland.

As well as Larsson, Birmingham have signed right winger Pat Kavanagh on a six-month contract.

The 21-year-old free agent had been on trial with the Blues and made two appearances for their reserves after leaving University College of Dublin in November.

City's promotion rivals Southampton have completed a loan deal for Poland striker Marek Saganowski from French side Troyes.

The 28-year-old has joined until the end of the season after impressing in a two-day trial but is not registered in time for today's clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

Norwich have drafted in Simon Lappin from St Mirren for an undisclosed fee and the unattached former Celtic starlet Mark Fotheringham.

Former Canaries captain Craig Fleming has joined League One strugglers Rotherham on a free transfer, while Burnley striker Gifton Noel-Williams completed a 50,000 switch to Spanish second division outfit Real Murcia.

Struggling Southend have bolstered their survival bid with the 200,000 signing of Motherwell's Ritchie Foran.

West Brom, meanwhile, appear to have punished Russell Hoult's off-field indiscretions by offloading the goalkeeper to Stoke.

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