McLeish is hoping to sign Traore on loan before the new season but Arsene Wenger is yet to make a decision on whether to allow Traore, who spent last season with Portsmouth, to have another spell away from Emirates Stadium.
Traore says he would rather stay in north London but McLeish understands the 19-year-old's attitude and is waiting for a response from Wenger before deciding whether to move on to other targets.
"We need to speak to Arsene Wenger," McLeish told Sky Sports News.
"He has obviously got one or two injury problems himself.
"We'll be guided by him and if he sanctions him coming out then fine, if not we will have to look at something else.
"Traore has played in the last two games for Arsenal, so of course he wants to play for Arsenal first. I don't hold that against him in any way.
"We just have to watch this space because it is a problem position."