Belfast Telegraph

No Birmingham return for Hleb

Alexander Hleb has ruled out a return to Birmingham next season but the on-loan Barcelona player wants to remain in the Barclays Premier League.

In an ideal world Hleb would like to return to his former club Arsenal although there have been no moves in this direction. Hleb has struggled to make an impact at St. Andrew's because of injuries and missed the Carling Cup final triumph over the Gunners with a knee problem.

But Hleb, who set up the second goal in Saturday's 2-0 win over Sunderland, believes City's style of football is not suited to his own game. "Before, I think teams like Birmingham were easy to play with but it is difficult when you play in such teams, not like Arsenal or Barcelona," he said.

He added: "Here you need to just fight and run, not too much passing, and this for me is something new.

"I have enjoyed it in a way because it is something new. This is a different experience although I prefer to play and to enjoy football.

"But I will give 1005 for this club every weekend."

When asked if there any chance of rejoining Birmingham, Hleb said: "Eh, no, no. I am happy and enjoy my time here, everything is good here, but this is a little bit not my way (style) of football.

"Barcelona is the biggest club in the world but it is difficult when you are not from Spain.

"It has happened with everybody (not being picked) with Henry, everyone. Josep Guardiola picks the Spanish players.

"I've not had a lot of chances to play there. I prefer to stay in the Premier League."


From Belfast Telegraph