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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 17:08 GMT
Savage seals switch to Blackburn
Blues midfielder Robbie Savage
Blackburn have completed the signing of Birmingham midfielder Robbie Savage.

The Welsh international, 30, has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Rovers and passed a medical after the clubs agreed a fee of 3m.

Savage, who links up again with former Wales boss Mark Hughes, is set to make his debut against Bolton on Monday.

He was signed by Blues manager Steve Bruce from Leicester in May 2002 for 1.25m and made 88 appearances for the west midlands club, scoring 12 goals.

"This has been the longest two weeks of my life. I went from being a hero to becoming the most hated man in Birmingham," Savage told the Blackburn website.

"But it has all been worth it. The only opinion that matters now is that of Mark Hughes.

"I want to repay the faith he has shown in me and prove to the fans that I am worth every penny.

"I know I have to win them over, but I'll show them and hopefully they will be cheering me because I know what I can give to a football club.

"I feel the reason why I have been a success at Leicester and Birmingham is because I play hard. Whether I play poorly or well, what won't change is my desire to win.

"That will always be there, and if I can add something to the team, then great. If I can't then people will make their own mind up."

Hughes added: "He is a player I have admired for many years. He is top quality, a good personality and he'll be a great success.

"Robbie was worth waiting for. He is going to be a very good player for years to come."

Robbie Savage was in the crowd for the FA Cup replay against Cardiff
Savage was in the crowd for the FA Cup replay against Cardiff

By capturing Savage, Rovers have finally brought to an end a bitter saga which began in November when Hughes expressed an interest in signing him.

At the same time, the former Crewe midfielder was coming under fire from Blues fans for a series of under-par displays and in return labelled them "fickle".

He was back to his best in the derby win over Aston Villa in December, which signalled an upturn in Birmingham's fortunes.

But that was merely the prelude to more speculation about his future, with Blackburn stepping up their bid to take him to Lancashire.

Blues turned down the initial offer of 2m and accused Rovers of trying to unsettle their player.

Savage, meanwhile, said he wanted to move closer to his parents in north Wales and put in a transfer request.

He came under fire from the Birmingham hierarchy who questioned his motives for leaving, although even last week they were still hoping he would change his mind.

With the deal finally done, Rovers chief executive John Williams took a swipe at them by saying: "It has been messy and too public.

"A lot has been said but not by Blackburn. We distanced ourselves from a lot of the comments being made."

Interview: Blackburn's Robbie Savage

Interview: Birmingham co-owner David Gold

Savage is miles apart
31 Dec 04 |  Fun and Games

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