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By ESPN Staff

Reading have Whitehead bid rejected by Sunderland

Sunderland have turned down an undisclosed bid for midfielder Dean Whitehead from Premiership debutants Reading.

It is understood the Berkshire club tabled a £1.2million offer for the 24-year-old, although they have been told he is not for sale.

Black Cats chief executive Peter Walker said: 'The club has received an offer for Dean, but this has been rejected. Dean is an important part of our plans.'

The offer came as former striker Niall Quinn and his consortium worked to assume control of the club after launching a £10million takeover bid on Monday.

Quinn has indicated that no signings will be made until a new manager is in place - that search was continuing today - and it appears that extends to departures too.

Whitehead joined Sunderland from home-town club Oxford in August 2004 for an initial £150,000, and the Wearsiders handed over an additional £175,000 after he made his 50th appearance.

He has prospered during his time at the Stadium of Light, playing a major part in the club's promotion to the Premiership at the end of the 2004-05 season and being one of the few players to impress during a difficult top-flight campaign.