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Ben Foster completes 6m switch from Manchester United to Birmingham City

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19 May 2010 12:35:09

Ben Foster completes 6m switch from Manchester United to Birmingham City

Birmingham have completed the £6million signing of Ben Foster from Manchester United, with the England goalkeeper signing a three-year contract. The fee was agreed between the two clubs last week and Foster has completed a medical to seal his Old Trafford exit. Sportsmail revealed on April 28 that the Blues were turning to Foster after giving up a deal to bring Joe Hart back from Manchester City for next season. Farewell Old Trafford: Foster ends his five-year stay at United Birmingham boss Alex McLeish said: 'It looks as if we've got another great acquisition with Ben Foster. 'The goalkeeper is a massive position and we've now signed another young hungry goalkeeper who wants to prove himself and live up to his potential. New deal: United keeper Edwin Van Der Sar 'We believe he is of the same kind of standard as Joe Hart. Ben's situation is similar to Joe's in that he found himself twiddling his thumbs behind another top keeper in van der Sar. 'Goalkeepers can go on for ever so that one was a losing battle for Ben. McLeish admitted the search for a new No 1 went far and wide, but Foster came with endorsement form Blues goalkeeping coach Dave Watson. 'There were another 10 or 12 foreign goalkeepers we looked at but didn't know enough about them and we didn't want to take a risk,' said McLeish. 'But Dave Watson is a guy I trust and have given responsibility to and he did his homework on Ben. 'We think he can make a name for himself and it's up to him to do what Big Joe did.' Foster struggled to impress despite a run of first-team appearanceswith United this season, but he leaves with Sir Alex Fergusondescribing him as the best goalkeeper England have. 'I think he deserves the opportunity to do better for himself,' said the United boss. Full stretch: Ben Foster makes a save for United against Arsenal last year 'That'sthe reason we accepted the offer. I feel and I still am very strongabout this, I think he's the best English goalkeeper in England. Although he began last term with high hopes of ousting Edwin van derSar from his status as United's first-choice keeper, Foster's chancedisappeared with high-profile mistakes against Manchester City and Sunderland during a two-month period at the start of the campaign when the veteran Dutchman was missing through injury. Despite these blunders, Foster was handed successive England starts,against Belarus and Brazil, leading to an expectation he would claim aplace in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad. No return: Manchester City wouldn't loan out Hart again Instead, Fergusonkept him on the sidelines for almost the entire remainder of theseason, meaning the 27-year-old was not one of the men in Capello'sprovisional squad when he named it last week. After five years at United, two of which were spent on loan atWatford, Foster had accepted there was no future for him at the club,especially as Sir Alex Ferguson persuaded Van der Sar to sign anotheryear's contract extension. As Birmingham needed a keeper once Hart returned to Manchester City following his season-long loan, Bluesboss Alex McLeish wasted no time in stepping in to make Foster hisfirst signing of the summer.  Ferguson insists Birmingham-bound Foster is still best English goalkeeper Birmingham make their move for Fulham left-back KoncheskyMan United fans fear Fergie's spending will be slashed by soaring interest ratesBIRMINGHAM CITY FC


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