Date: 21st January 2008 at 3:50pm
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Liam Ridgewell is hoping Alex McLeish will sign his former Aston Villa team-mate Gary Cahill – but the Birmingham boss has stressed he is also looking at other options.

Cahill, 22, recently completed a loan-spell with Sheffield United but does not appear to be part of Martin O’Neill’s long-term plans – perhaps suffering from a case of ‘I would rather play the players I have signed than those I inherited’ syndrome, especially considering the signings of Zat Knight and Curtis Davies.

Ridgewell was quoted by SkySports.com as saying: “I’d definitely like to see Gary join us. He’s a great footballer. He just wants to play first-team football and I think he deserves that.

“It’s good that the gaffer is interested in him and it would be good to link up with Gary again. It would be extra competition for places because it’s me and Rafael Schmitz at the moment.

“People make a lot about the move between Villa and Blues but at the end of the day we just want to play football. You just want to play week in and week out.”

However, there is still some doubt about whether the sale would be a loan or a permanent transfer – although O’Neill seems to have indicated it would be a permanent move – and McLeish has admitted he has yet to speak to either Cahill or his agent.

McLeish said: “I’ve made contact with Gary’s agent. Martin O’Neill has said I can speak to the player. I’m still waiting to do that and I will advance that this week. I’ll try and talk to Gary and his agent and we will see if we can progress it.

“The bottom line is it’s not in their hands or my hands. It is in Martin O’Neill’s hands. Martin has indicated a sale would suit him but he also has a few injuries and he has got to look at his squad first and foremost. We respect everything Martin does in this instance and we are still looking at other options.”

It has previously been suggested Cahill would cost £4million and there must be some doubt about whether, following the signings of James McFadden and David Murphy, the funds would be available. But with a current player making his feelings known, there seems to be a chance that something could happen.