Sunderland boss issues contract update on Birmingham City linked midfielder

Latest Birmingham City transfer news as a manager addresses the contract situation for one player linked with a move to Blues.
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Sunderland manager Michael Beale is focusing on matters on the pitch after Alex Pritchard was linked with a move to Birmingham City.

The Telegraph are linking Pritchard with a move to Blues, along with Turkish outfit Sivasspor and MLS side Colorado Rapids. The 30-year-old of course played under Tony Mowbray before his exit, and out of the rumoured clubs, the opportunity to reunite with a former boss seems the most likely destination.

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Pritchard is entering the final six months of his contract, and the veteran midfielder almost departed the Stadium of Light in the summer. Manager Mick Beale said he was 'super important' to the Black Cats in a previous interview, however no progress has been made on a deal to extend his stay on Wearside.

The Sunderland boss will not be involved in the negotiations and instead that will be left to key figures at Sunderland including sporting director Kristjaan Speakman who once held a role at Birmingham City's academy.

“Alex has been excellent since I’ve come in," said Beale to the Sunderland Echo.

"He missed the first couple of games but then he’s played very well. His contract situation was ongoing before I came in, that’s between him and the club.

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“At the moment he’s here, he’s in our team and playing well so that’s my focus.”

Pritchard has a vast amount of experience in the Championship, boasting 187 appearances at this level. He has scored 24 goals and notched up 32 assists in that time, and has played 114 times for Sunderland.

Pritchard has been used on a rotational basis this term with eight league starts and 14 substitute appearances. During Mowbray's time in charge of Sunderland, he used him 53 times and just over half of the were starts.

His former clubs include Huddersfield Town, Brentford, Swindon Town and Norwich City as well as West Midlands rivals West Brom.

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