By Danny Wright

Birmingham have beaten Yorkshire rivals Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday in the race to sign Brentford defender Harlee Dean, according to a report.

The Mirror claimed in their live transfer blog on Wednesday [07:14am] that Dean, 26, had an offer on the table from the Whites, but emphatically rejected the opportunity to move to Elland Road in favour of joining up with Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham.

West London Sport previously reported that the Whites had expressed an interest in the Championship defender as he is in the final year of his contract at Brentford.

It was understood that Dean Smith had slapped a £2million price tag on the head of the centre-back and also stripped him of his captaincy due to his ongoing contractual issues.

Hull were also said to be keeping tabs of Dean, who now seems to be on his way to Birmingham.

The former Southampton and Dagenham defender was in good form for Brentford last season, making 45 appearances across all competitions and scoring three goals in the process.

Leeds are perhaps in need of another centre-back in their side with Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper and the injured Matthew Pennington their only traditional options in the role.

Football Insider Verdict

At £2million, Dean would have been a really good buy for the Whites. However it seems that the centre-back had a choice to make between which club he wanted to play for, and Birmingham emerged victorious. It is perhaps the draw of Redknapp that lured Dean to the Second City as the Blues are not likely to be contending for promotion this season unlike Leeds or Sheff Wednesday. There also wouldn’t have been a guaranteed first-team spot for him at Elland Road either with Jansson and Cooper looking very much like Thomas Christiansen’s preferred centre-back partnership for the season.

In other Leeds news, the Whites have been handed a major boost in the hopes of signing this striker after his asking price crashed by nearly 50 per cent.

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