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Fulham boss Mark Hughes has hijacked Birmingham’s £5m move for AZ Alkmaar forward Moussa Dembele.

Hughes is set to make Dembele, 23, his first high-profile signing since his appointment at Craven Cottage last month.

Birmingham chief Alex McLeish has been trailing the Belgium international all summer and had even agreed a fee with Dutch outfit Alkmaar.

But Hughes has stolen in to wreck Blues’ attempts to take Dembele to St Andrews.

McLeish admitted: “Dembele has got other options and he is choosing another option. His representative had told me that.

Fulham have been desperate to recruit more firepower and Dembele, who can also play as a winger, is expected to sign shortly.

West Ham and West Brom had also registered an interest in the striker but Hughes appears to have won the race.