Cheick Keita: Claude Makelele signs Birmingham defender on loan for Belgian side Eupen

Cheick Keita made his first Serie A start for Bologna against Juventus in May
Cheick Keita made his first Serie A start for Bologna against Juventus in May

Birmingham City defender Cheick Keita has signed on a season's loan for Belgian side KAS Eupen, who are managed by former Chelsea star Claude Makelele.

Keita, 22, still has two years left on his Blues contract, having been signed by Gianfranco Zola in January 2017 on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The last of his nine appearances under Zola was the former Blues manager's final game in charge in April 2017.

Keita then twice figured off the bench under Zola's successor Harry Redknapp.

He came on in Redknapp's first game in charge, the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa, then was also used late on in last season's opening day loss at Ipswich.

But Keita then spent the rest of the 2017-18 season on loan with Italian Serie A side Bologna after Cohen Bramall had been loaned from Arsenal.

And, following the signing of Kristian Pedersen, Blues boss Garry Monk has allowed him to move to play under ex-Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSG midfielder Makelele in the Belgian First Division.

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