Gardner returns to Birmingham

Birmingham have completed the loan signing of West Brom midfielder Craig Gardner.

The 30-year-old has joined for the rest of the season with a fee agreed for a permanent return to St Andrew’s in the summer.

Gardner spent 18 months at Birmingham between January 2010 to June 2011 and won the League Cup.

Albion boss Tony Pulis told the club’s website: “Craig has done a great job for me and the cub and we were certainly not in any hurry to see him leave.

“But he is desperate to play first-team football, which I could not guarantee, and this is a terrific opportunity for him at Birmingham.

“He goes with our very best wishes.”

Gardner signed a new two-year contract at The Hawthorns in October but had not started since August and only made 10 appearances this season.

He joined on a free transfer from Sunderland in 2014 and made 85 appearances, scoring six goals, for Albion.

Gardner could feature in Birmingham’s Sky Bet Championship home game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Blues have also agreed a £2million deal with Spanish club Granada for midfielder Rene Krhin but are yet to complete the move.

Press Association Sport understands the former Inter Milan midfielder’s family are keen for Krhin to move to Birmingham but he is yet to make his final decision.

The 26-year-old Slovenia international, who has 30 caps, has also played for Bologna and Cordoba.

Blues boss Gianfranco Zola is hopeful of completing a move for Krhin, having been handed £10million to spend in the transfer window.

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