Birmingham City risk losing in-demand manager Gary Rowett due to their failure to tie him down to a long-term contract, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.
Rowett, who celebrated one year in charge at St Andrew's last month, is currently on a rolling 12-month contract at the club, and the 41-year-old's suitors are actively monitoring his situation at Birmingham.
The former Blues defender is one of the hottest managerial properties outside of the Premier League, forging himself a reputation as one of the English football's most respected young bosses after transforming Birmingham's fortunes.
Rowett took over at Birmingham in October 2014, two days after a 8-0 home defeat that sent Birmingham second bottom of the Championship, and he guided them to a remarkable 10th place finish last season. - their highest finish since making the play-offs under Chris Hughton, a year after relegation from the Premier League.
The highly-rated coach has continued his impressive rebuilding job at Birmingham this season, with the club sitting in the play-off positions and were as high as second spot in the table earlier in the campaign.
Rowett's work in difficult circumstances at Birmingham has won him no shortage of admirers, after also impressing in his first managerial role at Burton Albion.
Rowett has been forced to work on a shoestring budget at Birmingham, due to the financial restraints on the club, and he has also had to deal with the instability off the pitch, with the club's hierarchy in a state of flux in Hong Kong following owner Carson Yeung’s Hong Kong imprisonment for money-laundering.
A source close to the club has confirmed they fear their failure to tie down Rowett to a new deal could see the ambitious manager lured away by a side higher up the football pyramid who can offer Rowett the chance to work at the top level without the off-field issues he has been forced to juggle at Birmingham.