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English Premiership

McLeish in contract talks

BIRMINGHAM, March 18 – Alex McLeish is set to be rewarded for Birmingham's successful season with a new contract after the former Scotland boss revealed he was discussing a new deal with club owner Carson Yeung.McLeish joined the Blues two and a half years ago and has repaid the club’s decision to keep faith with him following relegation in his first season with Birmingham now established in the upper half of the Premier League.

"We have started negotiations regarding a new contract," McLeish confirmed on Thursday. "I have met Carson and (vice chairman) Peter Pannu.

"They gave me some initial figures. I’ll get my advisors now to meet with them and will let them thrash it out."

Hong Kong-based Yeung has promised money for new players this summer to sustain the progress made in the current campaign, but McLeish has vowed to spend the owner’s cash sensibly.

"We need to improve again and enhance the squad and there will be money to spend but there has got to be prudence," McLeish said. "I said during the January transfer window that I felt I had an obligation, a duty, to make sure that Birmingham go forward with a little bit of stability.

"There was an opportunity to purchase ten-million-pound players and pay them 100,000 pounds a week but I had sleepless nights with that one. The owners agreed that wasn’t the way to go."

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