Gary Rowett completely expects to have Demarai Gray at the end of the current transfer window. Speaking to the Birmingham Mail he is confident that Blues have another year on his contract and that due to his age they can still cash in at the end of that deal.
Demarai Gray is being linked with all sorts of clubs, from the realistic clubs like Bournemouth to the more outlandish – rumors that PSV, Manchester United and Liverpool are all keen on the 18 year old.
The youngster played 35 games for Birmingham last season and despite some dips in form he largely impressed not only those in Birmingham but the many scouts that have been coming to watch him.
During January the club knocked back countless bids from Bournemouth and made clear that the club will not sell the youngster. Now the summer is here and clubs have longer to put pressure on Birmingham and longer to unsettle the player.
The Mirror reported yesterday that Gray has refused to sign a new deal at Birmingham and that other clubs are now ready to come in for the player. (This is completely unconfirmed)
Now Rowett has made some points that are worth talking about.
Firstly, he said that Birmingham are not under any pressure to sell Gray. Correct the club do have the power to knock back bids and they have already proven this.
Secondly, he pointed to the fact the Gray remains under contract when asked about how large a bid would need to be for Blues to even entertain the idea.
This is interesting, it is Rowett avoiding setting a price, you never want to give away your price before the other side unless you’re actually seeking to set the tone, which Blues aren’t as they don’t want to sell.
The manager did then say this ‘It would have to be a sizeable bid, [but] it would [also] have to be Demarai wanting to leave and it would have to be right for everybody.
“He has got a year left on his contract, he is under 24 anyway by a long way, so therefore there are compensation issues.’
There in-lies the crux of the matter. This transfer saga will come down to one thing – whether Gray wants to leave or not. Experience tells me that eventually one of the bigger clubs will turn his head and that is it over with.
Not that this isn’t a completely bad thing. When players want to leave I think they should be allowed to provided the club have equal bargaining power with the other club (they aren’t being economically bullied into it). The club is better of with players focused on playing for this club and not attracting others (team performers over individuals) and that player deserves control over their own career.
Gray hasn’t signed a new deal, Rowett expects to keep him and other clubs are waiting on the door. The youngster says he is happy at the club but hasn’t actually committed to it. You make your own minds up, but for me – I’m cautiously expecting a sale.
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