Birmingham City were never going to be able to keep Demarai Gray off the Premier League transfer radar for long.
At just 18 years of age, he is already making quite a name for himself in the Championship.
He was handed his senior debut by Lee Clark last season, but has flourished under Gary Rowett this term.
A first-half hat-trick against Reading on December 14 thrust him further under the spotlight, just in time for the January transfer window.
Those at St Andrew’s are understandably reluctant to part with their exciting academy graduate, and have seen off interest from second-tier rivals Bournemouth, but acknowledge that a big-money bid from a top-flight suitor could force their hand.
Rowett told the Birmingham Mail: “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, then fantastic it shows we are doing our jobs properly.
“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.
“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.”
|Goals||Total Scoring Att||Total Cross||Total Contest||Accurate Pass||Touches||Appearances||Mins Played|
How long Gray remains a ‘big part’ of Rowett’s plans remains to be seen.
Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have all been credited with holding an interest.
The heavyweight trio would be delighted to add the youngster’s potential, creativity and keen eye for goal to their ranks and – while £20m may be out of the question – they may be tempted to test the water during the current transfer window.