McLeish close to contract extension

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Manager Alex McLeish revealed he is close to signing a new contract to remain at Birmingham City.

McLeish guided the club to an unexpected ninth-place finish last season on their return to the Barclays Premier League but only has one year left to run on his current deal.

Talks are still in progress over an improved contract but McLeish expects to reach an agreement sometime in the near future, and said: "Contract-wise, it's ongoing. Peter (Pannu, vice-chairman) who is a lawyer, is speaking to my lawyer so the two legal guys are getting together and discussing figures. There's a little bit to go but I don't see it being a big stumbling block."

Several first-team players have already committed their futures to City over the summer while goalkeeper Ben Foster and striker Nikola Zigic have arrived from Manchester United and Valencia respectively at a cost of £6million each.

Defender Liam Ridgewell, who signed a new three-year contract last month, admitted he was keen to see McLeish put pen to paper.

"It's ongoing, everyone wants to sort out what they've got to do and I'm sure the gaffer wants to take this club forward as we all do," he said.

"All the people who've signed new deals want to take the club further and try and see how far can we go so it's important we secure the gaffer and add to it as well.

"Hopefully it'll get sorted and we can get on with the new season without any of that, not hassle, but any of that going about really."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Ben Foster
Liam Ridgewell
Premier League
Manchester United

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