Birmingham City and Sheffield United transfer blow as Middlesbrough move 'likely'

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Birmingham City look set to miss out on a player linked with a move to St Andrew’s just a fortnight ago.

Middlesbrough are ‘likely’ to sign reported Birmingham City target Luke Ayling according to reports. 

The Teesside Gazette are reporting that Ayling is ‘looking likely’ to sign a permanent contract with Boro. Ayling has been on loan at the Riverside Stadium from Leeds United and is out of contract with the Whites, paving the way for a return to Middlesbrough.

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He appeared 19 times for Middlesbrough after joining in January and missed just one game, which was against his parent club Leeds. A move to Birmingham City was mooted in April, but that now looks to be a non starter with the player making an admission about his future. 

“I think things are close and I'm excited for what the future holds,” said the 32-year-old to BBC Radio Tees following the conclusion of their final day match with Watford.

“I can't say it's done yet so can't say too much but the last four months I've loved being part of it. I've loved every minute of it.”

Birmingham were described as ‘serious contenders’ to sign Ayling had they avoided the drop but now a move to St Andrew’s is highly unlikely. He hasn't played in League One though since playing for Bristol City in 2015, and since then he's had five years in the Championship and three in the Premier League.

Sheffield United was also suggested as a potential destination by The Sun’s EFL journalist Alan Nixon with Chris Wilder seeing him as a potential key capture for the Blades.

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