West Ham United are reportedly rivalling Crystal Palace to the potential signing of Reading full-back Omar Richards according to the Reading Chronicle.
Richards has caught the eye with a number of impressive showings in recent seasons for the Royals, and it appears as though he could have a decision to make on his future in the coming months.
The left-back has made eight appearances in all competitions this season for a Reading side that are currently sat top of the Championship table, and six points clear at the summit.
The Reading Chronicle also claim that the Berkshire-based side are looking at holding talks with Richards over a new deal at the Madejski Stadium in the near future.
West Ham have started this year’s campaign strongly themselves, with David Moyes’ men sat 11th in the top-flight standings after a hard-fought point against Manchester City in their most recent match.
We take a look at TWO pros and TWO cons to West Ham potentially signing Richards in the January transfer window.
Pro: He has age on his side.
Richards is still only 22, but has shown real maturity and confidence to force his way into the Reading starting XI in recent years.
He kept the likes of Tyler Blackett and Jordan Obita out of the Reading team last season, which shows that he’s a player with real talent, and has a bright future ahead of him, especially if he can build on recent performances.
West Ham would be getting a player with his best years still ahead of him.
Con: The cost of any potential deal.
Reading are reportedly looking to tie Richards down to a new deal after West Ham’s rumoured interest in landing his signature, which shows how highly they rate the defender.
If he is to sign a new contract with the Royals, then it’ll make any potential deal tough to complete for West Ham, as Reading have already shown in the past with John Swift, that they won’t be pressured into cashing-in on some of their key players.
Pro: Richards is playing the best football of his career to date
Richards has been one of Reading’s standout performers in the Championship this season and it certainly hasn’t come as a surprise to see him attracting interest from Premier League clubs.
If West Ham were to strike a deal with the Berkshire-based side, then they would be getting a player that is playing at the very top of his game so far.
Con: His lack of experience in the Premier League
Premier League clubs are often looking at players in the Championship, as they look to add depth to their squads, and that’s clearly the case with West Ham United.
But some of them come with an element of risk, especially when they don’t have any experience of playing in the top-flight of English football.
Richards falls into that category, and some could argue that there are safer options out there for West Ham in the New Year.