Birmingham City: Demarai Gray agrees new deal

Demarai gray
Demarai Gray has signed a new deal with Birmingham City until 2018

Birmingham City winger Demarai Gray has signed a new three-year contract with the Championship club.

Gray, 19, came through the academy at his hometown club and made his senior debut as a 17-year-old in October 2013.

The England Under-20 international - who had one year left on his deal - has played 52 times for Blues and scored seven goals, including a hat-trick in a 6-1 win over Reading last December.

"It is our biggest signing of the summer so far," boss Gary Rowett said.

Birmingham rejected a £5m bid from Bournemouth for Gray in February.

Demarai Gray's highlight
Demarai Gray was 18 years, five months and 15 days old when he scored his three goals inside 35 first-half minutes against Reading in December. That makes him the third-youngest Blues player, after Trevor Francis (1971) and Robin Stubbs (1959), to hit a hat-trick.

"We didn't want him to enter into the last year of contract and knowing we could have a year where he is not settled, he ends up moving potentially for nothing abroad, or moves on via a tribunal," Rowett told the club website.external-link

"He knows that one day he wants to play in the Premier League. If he keeps working hard on his game and keeps improving, keeps listening to people, then he can do that."

Gray won the Football League's young player of the month award for December. And Rowett thinks he can improve.

"He came back slightly different physically, he looks a little bit bigger, he looks a little bit taller," he added.

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