Reading FC look set to have a big job on their hands over the summer, as they look to bounce back from an underwhelming campaign in the Championship.
Having finished just one position clear of the relegation zone, the Royals will be desperate to pull clear of the bottom three next season, meaning they will have to get their business right this summer.
That applies to both incomings and outgoings, and may not be easy given the scrutiny their financial situation is under, following the points deduction they received during the 2021/22 campaign.
As a result, there is plenty for the club’s now permanent manager, Paul Ince, to consider, going into his first transfer window in charge of the club.
Which club did Reading sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?
So with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at four transfer issues Ince may have to address at Reading sooner rather than later.
Having been Reading’s top scorer, and provided the most assists for the club in the Championship this season, keeping Swift would be a major coup for the Royals.
The midfielder is out of contract at The Select Car Leasing Stadium this summer, and has been heavily linked with a move to second-tier rivals West Brom recently.
However, Reading themselves are said to have offered Swift a new deal, and Ince will no doubt want to know whether that will be accepted quickly, given how important it will be to find a player to replace him if he is to move on, or to plan around the 26-year-old if he elects to stay.
Another midfielder facing an uncertain future at Reading is Josh Laurent, with his contract with the club also expiring in the summer.
That has inevitably attracted interest from elsewhere, with Cardiff – themselves going through something of a squad rebuild – said to be keen on the former Shrewsbury man.
However, Laurent did previously suggest he would be more likely to sign a new Reading contract if Ince remained as manager, and that may be something the Royals boss should be looking to take advantage of, before another club make him an offer he finds hard to refuse.
Reading have just a handful of players contracted to the club for next season, but it seems they could still be open to selling one of those this summer, in the form of Lucas Joao.
The striker enters the final year of his contract with the Royals this summer, meaning this could be their last chance to receive a fee for him, and it has been reported the club are open to selling him this summer.
Given the financial situation Reading are in, any funds they receive for Joao could be important in terms of allowing them to invest in the squad, so if a deal does happen, Ince may want it done quickly to give him time to use those funds in the best way possible.
With Orjan Nyland’s short-term contract at Reading expiring, and Karl Hein’s loan from Arsenal failing to work out, Reading do find themselves short of options between the posts.
Luke Southwood will be the only senior player to fill that position heading into the summer, and it is obvious that the Royals will need to source some cover and competition for the 24-year-old.
Bringing that in fast could certainly be important for Reading, particularly if any new ‘keeper is to be the club’s number one, then there is a chance to develop a connection between goalkeeper and defence throughout the course of pre-season, before the campaign gets underway.