By Tony Hughes

Leicester have emerged as favourites to land teen sensation Demarai Gray in a £4million deal, Football Insider sources understand.

The Birmingham winger, 19, is being monitored by a number of Premier League clubs including ­Tottenham, Aston Villa and Southampton.

But a source close to the situation has told Football Insider that Leicester are in pole position to capture Gray in the January transfer window.

It has been reported that the 19-year-old has a £3.75million January exit clause in the three-year contract he signed last summer.

Leicester have put in a lot of groundwork to beat their rivals to Gray’s signature and the Premier League high flyers are increasingly confident of tying up a deal this month.

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett is resigned to Gray joining a Premier League club, although he has said that he hopes to keep the player until next summer.

Big hitter: Gray could be joining Riyad Mahrez at Leicester

Big hitter: Gray could be joining Riyad Mahrez at Leicester

“I think Dimmy is the most obvious one that sooner or later is going to go to a Premier League club,” Rowett said. “We hope it’s later, and maybe not in this window – again that’s going to be out of my control – but certainly I would hope that we wouldn’t lose any of the other players.

“We are looking to strengthen rather than weaken and that’s the message that we are trying to get across.

“Should this be the window that the right Premier League club comes up for Dimmy – and it’s something that’s attractive for him and the finances work for the Club – then within that, it would give us some money to go and build a little bit again.”

Gray has established himself as a key player at Birmingham this season, starting 22 of the club’s 24 Championship matches.