Championship side Birmingham City have strengthened their squad ahead of the new season by announcing the signing of Barnsley captain Marc Roberts on their official website.

The Blues have beaten off significant competition to secure the former FC Halifax defender for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £3.5 million.

It was rumoured that Aston Villa were keen on the signature of Roberts while West Bromwich Albion and Hull City had also been said to express an interest but it is St Andrews where the 26-year-old will play his football from now on.

He is seen as a ‘no-nonsense’ centre-half who is good in the air and a real threat at set-pieces. He is also comfortable on the ball, a trait that appealed most to those who were chasing him.

The defender has signed a three-year deal in the second city and will join the Harry Redknapp revolution as the club looks to get back into position to challenge for promotion after a couple of poor Championship finishes since relegation from the top flight.

Birmingham only stayed up on the final day last season and the former West Ham United boss has been given the task of leading the Blues back up the table.

One reason for their struggle was the 64 goals they shipped over the course of the campaign and Redknapp has been quick to address that with the addition of Roberts.

The defender is the second high-profile signing of the summer at St Andrews after the Blues were able to bring in goalkeeper David Stockdale from Brighton & Hove Albion last month.

With Redknapp famed for his transfer activity, especially on deadline day, we can expect more players to come through the entrance door at Birmingham before the current window closes in a couple of months.

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