Jermaine Pennant last night said he would not be rushed into signing for Birmingham City permanently, despite manager Steve Bruce's on-going support for the troubled midfielder.

The Blues' hierarchy and the club's supporters have been immensely supportive to Pennant in the wake of his recent imprisonment for drink-driving offences.

Bruce, who visited Pennant in prison, selected the 22-year-old for Blues' Premiership match against Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday only 48 hours after his release and has initiated talks to sign the player in the summer when he is out of contract at Arsenal.

However, Pennant, who is on loan at St Andrew's, says he wants to hold talks with Arsenal before deciding where his future lies.

Pennant, on parole with an electronic tag, said: "Further to the speculation about my future I would like to confirm that I will be seeking talks with Arsenal before making any decision on my career.

"I'd like an opportunity to speak with the club to see where I stand. I feel this is the right and fair thing to do for everyone concerned.

"In the meantime I would like to thank the Birmingham fans for the amazing reception on Saturday."

Pennant's decision to negotiate with Arsenal before deciding his future could suggest ambivalence about a move to St Andrew's and might also appear ungrateful considering Birmingham's unflinching support for him recently.

It is hard to imagine Arsenal manager ArsEne Wenger wanting Pennant back, especially as Birmingham have agreed a fee rising to £3 million for the player.

Pennant's future at Highbury appears to be over following his second criminal conviction within a year but his latest remarks make it unclear where he will be playing next term.