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Birmingham manager Alex McLeish starts contract talks

Birmingham's Alex McLeish
McLeish previously managed Motherwell, Hibernian and Rangers

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has started talks over a new contract.

The 51-year-old, who joined Blues in November 2007, started negotiations after meeting the club's owner Carson Yeung and vice-chairman Peter Pannu.

"They gave me some initial figures. I will get my advisers to meet them and let them thrash it out," said McLeish, whose deal ends in the summer of 2011.

After returning to the top flight in his first full season, McLeish's side are now eighth in the Premier League.

Birmingham also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup before being knocked out by Portsmouth earlier this month. If McLeish extends his stay he may be given the chance to strengthen a squad that has performed beyond expectations.


Yeung has already backed the Scot with £40m to spend in the January transfer window, although McLeish refused to pay over the odds for players.

Offers for Liverpool attacker Ryan Babel, Celtic winger Aiden McGeady and Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko were all turned down.

Sporting Gijon playmaker Michel and Aston Villa midfielder Craig Gardner were the only arrivals - and each for a fee of £3m.

McLeish, who has also managed Motherwell, Hibernian and Rangers and the Scotland national side, has insisted he will continue to drive a hard bargain.

"We need to improve again and enhance the squad and there will be money to spend but there has got to be prudence," he added.

"There was an opportunity to purchase £10m players and pay them £100,000 a week but I had sleepless nights with that one. The owners agreed that wasn't the way to go."

McLeish took charge in the wake of Steve Bruce's departure to Wigan and the former Scotland boss was unable to save Birmingham from relegation in the 2007/2008 campaign.

However, a 2-1 final-day win over Reading a year later resulted in Blues clinching the second automatic promotion place from the Championship and an immediate return to the Premier League.

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see also
McLeish set for contract reward
16 Jan 10 |  Birmingham
Birmingham get 40m transfer pot
15 Oct 09 |  Birmingham
Birmingham clinch top-flight spot
03 May 09 |  Championship
McLeish leaves Scotland for Blues
27 Nov 07 |  Football

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