Rift with McLeish denied by Birmingham chairman

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Birmingham City's acting chairman Peter Pannu, has dispelled concerns about a dispute with manager Alex McLeish over contract negotiations.

Pannu was quoted as saying McLeish was asking for "a very large amount of money, which I was not prepared to meet" and that the manager was "no Jose Mourinho".

But Pannu said yesterday: "This is nonsense. We are inches away from Alex signing a deal, possibly by next week."