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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 November 2007, 18:30 GMT
McLeish coy over Birmingham link
Scotland manager Alex McLeish
Alex McLeish has seen his stock rise with international success
Scotland manager Alex McLeish has sidestepped questions about an approach from Birmingham which BBC Sport believes will be made soon.

Reacting to the World Cup draw in South Africa, McLeish was asked if he would still be in charge of Scotland by the time qualification games were played.

"It's a long time away," he told BBC Sport. "You can never tell in football.

"It's something that is always out of your control. I am Scotland manager until something else happens."

McLeish has only been in charge of the Scottish national side since January and has won seven of the 10 matches he has overseen.

But Scotland narrowly lost out on a place at Euro 2008 and McLeish may find it hard to turn down the chance to return to club management.

There's been no approach and we certainly would not want to lose Alex

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith

The former Motherwell, Hibernian and Rangers boss is known to miss the day-to-day coaching involvement with players and has expressed an ambition to manage in England's Premier League.

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith is determined to hold on to his manager and is likely to demand substantial compensation should he be lured away.

"There's been no approach and we certainly would not want to lose Alex," said Smith.

"Indeed, we have been talking to him about possibly extending his contract and hope to take that further when we get back."

McLeish was appointed after former Scotland manager Walter Smith had been lured back to club management by one of his former clubs, Rangers, following a successful start to the Euro 2008 campaign.

Birmingham have pledged to announce a successor to Steve Bruce "within the next week" following his move to Wigan.

606: DEBATE

McLeish is the bookmakers' favourite, while Marcello Lippi and Martin Jol have rejected advances from the Blues.

Some reports have suggested that another former Aberdeen player, Eric Black, Bruce's assistant and present caretaker manager, could be chosen ahead of McLeish.

City released a statement, saying: "The Birmingham board has appointed just three managers in the past 14 and a half years.

"Each of those managers made improvements on their predecessor and took the club forward.

"The board will appoint a new manager within the next week and is looking forward to working with someone who can have an equally positive impact."



SEE ALSO
Scots to face Dutch in World Cup
25 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Lippi turns down Birmingham job
21 Nov 07 |  Birmingham City
Jol rejects Birmingham approach
20 Nov 07 |  Birmingham City
McLeish rejects Scots exit talk
19 Nov 07 |  Internationals


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