By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Sebastian Larsson is on the verge of completing an £800,000 switch from Birmingham to Blackburn Rovers despite a late attempt to hijack the move by Aston Villa, Goal.com UK can reveal.
Larsson, who has already rejected moves to Sunderland and Newcastle United, has told friends that he wants to move to Ewood Park.
Blackburn and Birmingham are negotiating the exact fee, which could be worth an initial £500,000 rising to £800,000 with add-ons. It is expected to be completed in the next 24 to 48 hours in time for Larsson to make his debut against West Brom on Sunday.
The former Arsenal midfielder, like manager Steve Kean and his new assistant John Jensen, is a client of the Sport Entertainment and Media Group (SEM), the agency that has a corporate partnership deal with the Swiss-based sports rights agency Kentaro, which advised Venky’s, the Indian poultry conglomerate that owns Blackburn, on its takeover of the club last year.
Larsson is set to become the first permanent addition to the senior playing staff under the new regime after moves for Ronaldinho and David Beckham fell through.
Birmingham already have a ready-made replacement for right-sided midfielder Larsson in David Bentley, who has joined on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season with his contract due to expire in the summer.
Larsson has fallen out with Birmingham boss Alex McLeish, who left him out of his team last weekend, and wants to move the 25-year-old on immediately rather than lose him for nothing in the summer.