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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Released Pennant back with Blues
Birmingham's on-loan Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant
Jermaine Pennant has been released from jail and is set to resume training with Birmingham City.

Pennant, 22, has served 30 days of his three-month sentence for driving offences and the Arsenal winger will now resume his loan spell at the Blues.

The Midlands club are keen to sign the player and a 3m deal looks likely.

Blues boss Steve Bruce said: "We are delighted that Jermaine is back with us again and I'm pleased that this chapter of his life has been concluded."

Speaking to the Blues website, he added: "Myself and everybody at the club will be doing all we can to ensure that Jermaine settles back into normality as soon as possible."

Pennant pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving while disqualified on 1 March at Aylesbury Magistrates' Court.

He will have to wear an electronic tagging device as well as being subject to curfews.

Pennant said in a statement: "It's a relief to be out, I'm looking forward to putting on my football boots and start training again.

"I'd like to thank all those that have helped me through this difficult period and I'll be making further statements in due course."

The winger's contract with Arsenal ends in the summer and Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has stated a deal has been agreed with Arsenal and now it is a case of agreeing terms with the player.

Birmingham chairman David Gold is expecting to sit down with Pennant to discuss the move.

"He's had some unfortunate issues and I'm sure that our football club is best equipped to help him and he will end up an outstanding footballer and contributor to society," Gold told the Birmingham Evening Mail.

"Karren Brady (managing director) has done the deal with Arsenal for Jermaine. It is now a question of talking personal terms.

"Hopefully we will reach an agreement and he will be a Birmingham player, not only for the rest of this season but beyond."

The switch is expected to involve Birmingham paying Arsenal 500,000 and the further instalments based on appearances and incentives.

Birmingham, who play Tottenham on Saturday, will assess Pennant's fitness before deciding when he will be fit to return to the squad.


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