Birmingham City have rejected a second bid from AFC Bournemouth of £2 million for Demarai Gray, with Gary Rowett coming out saying only a ‘£20 million offer’ will be accepted.
Bournemouth, who are looking to add pace to their left side of midfield, are chasing the forward, who they had a £1.5 million offer rejected for at the beginning of the month.
Speaking this morning in his press conference before his side go up against Wigan, Rowett admitted he was unaware of a bid, telling the Birmingham Mail: “As far as I am concerned I would love him to be a Blues player because he is an integral part of the team.
“He didn’t start many games before I came, he has started virtually all of the games since we have been here.
“He is improving as a team player all the time, he is improving his understanding of the game all the time and he’s playing at an excellent level in the Championship, which for a young player is a wonderful shop window.
“When you have got an 18-year-old playing as well as he’s playing you can’t stop speculation, you can’t stop people being interested.
“If we have got players playing that well that lots of big clubs are interested in, then fantastic it shows we are doing our jobs properly.
“There is no point me commenting on what I think might happen there are so many variables, all I can say is Demarai is an excellent player, he is part of my plans going forward because he has got excellent talent.
“What we can’t stop is if someone comes and bids £20m for him in the transfer window then I think most clubs would be interested to listen to those offers.
“That’s something that’s out of my hands and I am pretty sure the club has got lots of experience in dealing with these situations.
“I think it’s nice that the club are certainly not jumping at these offers and saying we need to sell. We are pretty strongly convinced he is a big part of us going forward.”
Demarai’s best game this season has been against Reading, a game in which Birmingham ran out 6-1 winners. Gray got his first ever professional hat trick, against some abysmal Reading defending.
Birmingham have been in super form since boss Gary Rowett took over from Lee Clark. They have 21 points from a possible 30, and are currently on 31 points, in 14th place in the Sky Bet Championship.