SFA reject official approach for McLeish

THE SCOTTISH Football Association have rejected an official approach for national team manager Alex McLeish.

Birmingham are thought to be the club pursuing former Rangers boss McLeish.

However the club behind the approach have been warned the SFA will do everything in their power to keep the 48-year-old.

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith told a newspaper: “Yes we have had an official approach for our manager.

“We don’t want to discuss it at all, so the club involved has been advised they cannot have permission to speak to Alex at the moment.

“We must make it clear we want to retain Alex as manager of the Scotland team. We want to extend his contract and we’re keen to speak to him about that.”

Despite Smith’s latest comments, the SFA chief has previously admitted McLeish will determine his own future.

The SFA accept that if McLeish wants to leave his post, which he only took up in late January, they will have to reach an agreement to let him depart.

However by blocking the approach for the manager who steered Scotland close to Euro 2008 qualification they are putting themselves in a strong position for any future battle over compensation.

The latest development, and the SFA’s response, were both expected.

Smith last week was readying himself for approaches for McLeish, who he predicted would be fancied for any Barclays Premier League vacancies.

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