Harlee Dean in training despite Lee Bowyer row as Sheffield Wednesday look elsewhere in defender search

Sheffield Wednesday target Harlee Dean is in training with Birmingham City despite a fractured relationship that was suggested to be beyond repair.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 1:09 pm

The 30-year-old centre-half spent the second half of last season on loan at Hillsborough and was reported to have been placed high on the Owls’ wanted list as they chased defensive reinforcements this summer.

But the club is understood to be focusing on options elsewhere with Dean and the rest of the Birmingham squad in limbo as talks of a takeover at St Andrews continue to swirl.

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Former Sheffield Wednesday man Harlee Dean is back in training with Birmingham City.

Dean was at one end of a high-profile war of words with Blues manager Lee Bowyer, with Bowyer having suggested his club captain Dean had fallen into a ‘comfort zone’.

The defender since claimed that he would be given a free transfer to leave the Midlands club this summer but the advancement of such talks has not yet materialised, with the Midlands club locked in limbo amid talk of a takeover by controversial former Watford chairman Laurence Bassini.

Wednesday have brought in Ben Heneghan on a free transfer and look to be closing in on the signing of Rotherham United man Michael Ihiekwe, both of whom fit the profile of Dean in terms of playing style.

Whether or not that ends the Owls’ monitoring of Dean’s situation remains to be seen, though what is clear is that Birmingham have welcomed the former Brentford man into their pre-season preparations after he was pictured on their first day back on Monday.

Speaking to TalkSport, Bassini confirmed he was pressing on with his attempted takeover but swerved questions on reports he intended to replace Bowyer, who steered the club to a 20th place finish in the Championship last season, with former QPR boss Mark Warburton.

He said: “I don’t think anything of Lee Bowyer because I don’t know Lee. I can’t answer if there is going to be a (manager) change.”

Dean was captain at Brentford under Warburton, who has tried to sign him at other clubs since.

Owls boss Darren Moore is well-known to be an admirer of Dean, but the pictures further cloud any notion of an imminent get-out for the defender.