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Man Utd boss Ferguson helped Birmingham land Hleb

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson helped Birmingham City sign Barcelona midfielder Alex Hleb yesterday.

The Sun says former Arsenal midfielder Hleb needed a work permit before he could move to St Andrew's, with boss Alex McLeish travelling to London yesterday to plead his case.

And in order to strengthen his hand, McLeish carried a testimonial from Manchester United chief Fergie - his old Aberdeen manager - stating Hleb would be a major asset to the Premier League side.

That helped persuade officials to decide that Hleb, 29, deserved his permit.

He joins on loan from Barcelona with a view to a permanent three-year deal at the end of the season. Hleb is Blues' seventh summer signing and the third on deadline day.

 Need your Birmingham City news fix? Click here for all Blues news and transfer rumours.

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