Gary Rowett comments on speculation over Demarai Gray's future

Birmingham boss Gary Rowett says in-demand winger Demarai Gray should only leave for a top four Premier League club.

Birmingham City took on Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup today, but were on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.

Yet one of the big talking points from the game was that young winger Demarai Gray was left on the bench amid speculation over his future.

Bournemouth have reportedly had three bids rejected for the 18-year-old according to the Birmingham Mail, whilst the Daily Mirror recently reported that Liverpool and Tottenham are also interested in signing him after an impressive season so far.

With four goals and one assist for the Blues this term, Gray is becoming a hot property, but manager Gary Rowett told the club's official site why he left the winger out of the clash against West Brom.

"I felt it has been a big month for him and there’s been a lot of speculation about him. It was a big game and I just wondered whether it might be a little bit too much for an 18-year-old so it would be nice to get him out the limelight for a little bit," said Rowett.

Reports from Sky Sports on Saturday afternoon - 16:02 on the live transfer ticker - suggested that Gray wanted to leave St. Andrews and sign for another club during this month's transfer window, but Rowett says that isn't the case - and has advised the teenager to only leave the club in order to join a top four Premier League side.

"I’ve had lots of conversations with him recently and he’s never once told me he’s keen on leaving the club so I just think it’s one or two people trying to stir things up," he continued.

"He’s our player and I hope he stays. He’s a fantastic talent and I’ve said it before I think he’s best served being here until an opportunity comes his way that is befitting of his talent. For me at the moment it’s probably only a top four team that can do that. That’s not being disrespectful to anyone else," added the former Burton Albion boss.

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