Bruce stands firm on Pennant
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has insisted that he will not part with Jermaine Pennant.
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has insisted that he has no intention of letting Jermaine Pennant go.
The relegated Blues have already lost Emile Heskey to Wigan and speculation has been mounting that Pennant may follow him out of St Andrews before the new season starts.
However, Bruce is determined to bounce back to The Premiership at the first attempt and is confident that he will be able to maintain the services of his star winger.
"Jermaine has been fantastic for us and it would take one hell of an offer to tempt us especially now we don't need the money," he told Sky Sports News.
"We've done very well this summer in terms of what we've been able to do.
"We've let people go out of contract but brought three or four players in to counter that.
"We don't want him to go. I believe he's improved with us and we want him to stay but who knows what's around the corner?"
Bruce admits that he will always listen to offers but reassured fans that he would not be forced to sell anybody he wanted to keep.
"As we've said, everybody's got their price whether you're Ronaldo or whoever," he said.
"What I've said to supporters is we won't be letting anyone go in a fire sale. We don't have to sell."
Reflecting on Heskey's departure, Bruce argued that while it would be difficult to replace him, there was still time to bring in a new striker.
"We think it's a good piece of business all round but then again he's 28, he's got 45 England caps and he's a good player," he acknowledged.
"The problem we've got now is we've got to replace him and that's going to be very difficult.
"We must try to find a replacement as quickly as possible but we'll be patient.
"Just starting to come back to work and I'm sure they'll be a bit of movement in the next four to five weeks before the transfer deadline."