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Sebastian Larsson to leave Blues

Birmingham | Sport | Published:

Birmingham midfielder Sebastian Larsson is to leave Blues after his contract at St Andrew's expires.

Birmingham midfielder Sebastian Larsson is to leave Blues after his contract at St Andrew's expires.

Larsson does not want to play in the Championship again and is believed to have already said his goodbyes to Blues team-mates and staff.

The news puts Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland - managed by former Blues boss Steve Bruce - on red alert with the trio all having been linked with the Sweden international.

Larsson handed in a transfer request in December in protest at how he had been treated during contract negotiations, his agent suggested.

It is thought Blues did not make a new contract offer to the Swede after talks broke down in January.

The 25-year-old was close to joining Newcastle in January after the failure to agree a deal, but Blues pulled the plug on the move as they battled the Premier League drop.

Larsson helped them beat Arsenal 2-1 to lift the Carling Cup in February but, after relegation following last Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham, Larsson will cut his ties.

He initially joined on loan from Arsenal in 2006 and helped them to promotion from the Championship, before moving to St Andrew's permanently for £1million.

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He made 205 appearances, scoring 25 goals, and became a fans' favourite.

Larsson's impending exit is likely to be the first of a few star names leaving St Andrew's, with Blues needing to make up a £40million shortfall in revenue.

It's expected manager Alex McLeish will have to cash in on some of his top talent.

McLeish has met with owner Carson Yeung's right-hand man Peter Pannu to plan for the future in the Championship, with the board clear they expect an immediate return to the Premier League.

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