Butt to stay put after Blues snub

By Graeme Bailey   Subscribe to RSS Feed

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Manchester United star Nicky Butt looks set to remain at Old Trafford until the summer at least, after shunning a switch to Birmingham City.

The England star has held talks with Blues after they lodged a £5.5 million offer for him.

However, after meeting with Steve Bruce - Butt has told him that he is not ready to move, despite asking for a transfer earlier this month.

Sir Alex Ferguson reluctantly agreed to Butt's request for a move, but he will now be delighted that he has opted to fight for his place at United.

Bruce, though, is remaining optimistic that he will land Butt in the summer.

"Nicky has expressed a huge interest in us," said Bruce.

"If I thought I was wasting my time, I wouldn't have gone this far as it is.

"We've done as much as we can and you have to respect it's a big decision for him. We'll address it again in the summer.

"I think the way Birmingham is perceived now helps us," said Bruce.

"We are trying to improve, you look at the signings we've made the past year or so. We are a club that's grown in stature and has growing ambition.

"Getting this far - agreeing a fee with Manchester United for their England midfielder - shows that exactly.

"It's not financial with Nicky, he just wants to play football.

"Every footballer, whether you are in the Premier League at the top of your tree, somebody playing in the Third Division or for a pub side on a Sunday morning, if you don't play, you want to go somewhere else."

Middlesbrough manager Steve McClaren stated earlier this week that he thought Butt would stay at United after making an enquiry and that now seems to be the case.

If Butt does not see much more football from now until the end of the campaign, then he is likely to move on in the summer - when again the interest in him will be intense.

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