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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, 14:16 GMT
Diao completes move to Birmingham
Salif Diao
Liverpool's defensive midfielder Salif Diao has signed for Birmingham on loan for the rest of the season.

Diao, 27, chose Birmingham instead of their local rivals Aston Villa and is seen as a straight replacement for Blackburn-bound Robbie Savage.

"Salif fits the bill," said Blues boss Steve Bruce. "He's got plenty of experience and is competitive."

Diao added: "It is all about feeling and Steve Bruce gave me the feeling that he really wanted me for his team."

Savage, who has handed in a written transfer request, is expected to join Blackburn on Tuesday and, with midfield trio David Dunn, Muzzy Izzet and Stan Lazaridis injured, Bruce has swooped for Diao.

The move could become permanent depending on the impact the Senegal international has at St Andrews.

He spoke to Aston Villa manager David O'Leary on Monday, but opted to link up with Blues and trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Tuesday.

"I came to meet him and I could see in his eyes and with the way he talked that he really wanted me to sign for Birmingham," added Diao, who failed to establish himself at Liverpool following a 5m move from French club Sedan after his showings at the 2002 World Cup.

"I need someone who can give me my confidence back and the way that he talks, the way he makes things happen, gives me more confidence and that's why I said yes to Birmingham."

Bruce has failed to lure Amdy Faye from Portsmouth but said: "I've said many times, clubs don't want to let their best players go in January. But I think Salif fits the bill for us, that's for sure."

Interview: Birmingham chairman David Gold

Diao returns for Senegal
11 Aug 04 |  African
Diao thanks Houllier
13 Jan 03 |  Africans abroad
Diao confirms Liverpool move
24 Jun 02 |  Liverpool

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