Birmingham City: Demarai Gray never wanted Bournemouth move

Birmingham City winger Demarai Gray
Gray won the Football League Young Player of the Month award in December

Birmingham City say they were always confident of keeping winger Demarai Gray despite repeated offers from Championship rivals Bournemouth, as he simply did not want to leave.

The teenager was the subject of five separate bids from the Cherries during the transfer window, rising from £1.5m to a deadline day offer of £5m.

"It is well documented that we received several offers," read a club statement.

"But Demarai has never once given any indication that he wanted to leave."

No deal for Gray
"Demarai Gray appears not to be one of those young players in a rush to get that big pay cheque and glamorous move. It will come some day, but Gray and his advisors have acted shrewdly in allowing the club to keep hold of their most precocious young talent for now. There will be plenty of suitors ready to stump up significant money in the near future."Richard Wilford (BBC WM)

Birmingham had already added cover in the shape of recent loan acquisition of Lloyd Dyer from Watford, had they received an offer for Gray that was too good to resist.

But the outsiders for a play-off place after just two defeats in 14 Championship matches under Gary Rowett are pleased to have retained one of their "prized assets".

"Throughout this transfer window, the board of directors and the manager have remained steadfast in the desire to keep Demarai," the statement continued.

"We hope supporters, whose frustrations at the sale of some of our top young talents in recent times we understand, will be buoyed by this news."

Manager Rowett was more preoccupied on deadline day trying unsuccessfully to find cover for centre-half Michael Morrison, who has been ruled out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.