Nottingham Forest wanted Harlee Dean in 2017 and the central defender has now reportedly been told that he can leave Birmingham City.

Mark Warburton was desperate to land the player he worked with at Brentford during his City Ground tenure.

Instead, he rejected the advances of his former manager and headed for Birmingham where he’s been a mainstay in the team.

Coventry City v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship
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The Blues are keen to cut some costs in January. Boss Lee Bowyer won’t be able to strengthen otherwise and Dean’s head is on the block.

The 30-year-old hasn’t played since November and now the centre-back will be on the lookout for a new club in January.

Bizarrely he’s captained the team during 2021/22. However, he now he finds himself on the Birmingham scrapheap.

Dean was a top target for Forest when Warburton was in charge. The Telegraph linked the Reds with a £1.5 million move for the defender.

Ultimately, a deal couldn’t be struck and Dean has gone on to play 184 times for Forest’s rivals in the Championship.

The former Brentford man has hardly taken the league by storm and perhaps Forest were better off not signing him.

Did Forest miss a trick over Dean?

Not really. He’s been okay for Birmingham but ultimately he’s failed to kick the Blues to the next level.

Dean was targeted by Warburton as a player he could count on. As a result, he may well have made him his Forest captain.

The central defender is a real leader and he has often found himself captaining Birmingham in the four years he’s been at the club.

Birmingham City v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
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It will be interesting to see where he ends up.

At 30 he may have to drop into League One, although a sizeable wage packet at St Andrew’s may rule that out.

Forest are in the market for a central defender next month but Dean is one man who won’t be on the radar any longer.

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