McLeish Warned Off Wheater

Last updated : 24 May 2009 By Brian Cartlidge

McLeish told a fans forum that he would like to sign a player of Wheater's calibre although he did also admit that Boro's probable £9million asking price would more than likely be out of Blues' range.

"David Wheater is one that we have no intention of letting go. He is a big part of the future of this club," Southgate told the Sunday Mirror prior to his side's final match of the season against West Ham at Upton Park.

"I'm sure Alex will regret how his interest has come out at a fans' forum. That doesn't help the situation, I haven't had any sort of apology on the phone.

"You tend to be a bit loose if you are talking to your fans, but that's for Alex.

"There are players I would like to keep here, no matter what division we're in.

"They are the ones I'll fight to persuade that I think it's right for them to stay."

Boro were relegated to the Championship along with Newcastle United and West Brom after a 2-1 defeat against The Hammers on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday.