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Birmingham City look ‘Long Shot’ in pursuit of expiring contract star

Ayling is under contract at Leeds United until the end of June but is leaving the Whites as a free agent.

He spent the second half of the season on loan at Middlesbrough and Boro see his permanent switch as a crucial piece of business.

They have competition for Ayling from Sheffield United, where Chris Wilder is keen.

Birmingham are also interested in securing Ayling but are said to now ‘seem a long way off’ following relegation from the Championship and League One.

The Blues are admirers of Ayling, however, persuading the defender to drop into the third tier seems a bridge too far.

Experienced defender Ayling, who will turn 33 before the end of August, has also featured in League One, making 170 appearances in the division.

He will probably want to continue his career in the Championship where he has made over 250 appearances.