This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
John Swift is not expected to leave Reading in the January transfer window despite his contract expiring in the summer, per LeedsLive.
The attacking midfielder has eight goals and nine assists in 21 Championship outings this summer and that has led to interest in his services as the mid-season window approaches.
Understandably though the Royals do not want to lose his services although they risk letting Swift leave for absolutely nothing when his deal is up in June.
Quiz: Can you name which club Reading FC sold these 26 players to?
Reading reportedly want an ‘extraordinary amount of money’ to sell Swift next month, but what should they be accepting at this stage of the season? We’ve asked the FLW team for their thoughts.
In any other year, Reading could demand just about any amount they wanted to for Swift, given how important he is to their side.
However, with Swift now into the final few months of his contract, you feel there will be a limit to what they can say ‘no’ to, considering their financial situation, and the fact that he is too good a player to lose for free if they can avoid that.
Nevertheless, Reading would surely still want a rather big fee, given they will simply have to replace him, and the fact that they will know Swift will be worth a great deal to any side that make a bid, given what the midfielder can offer them.
With all that considered, it could be argued that the Royals should be holding out for a fee in the region of £15-20m, which would be a lot for the club, but you feel not enough to price out any potentially interested parties.
John Swift is a key player for Reading – so it won’t be a surprise if they do demand an extortionate fee for him.
He is not only one of the most important players for them but has arguably been one of the better players in the entire league so far this campaign.
In a side that has played most of its football in the lower half of the table, Swift has shone and looks like he could play a lot higher up.
Transfermarkt values the player at £5.4m – but he’s certainly worth more than that. Based on some of the recent dealings in the EFL and the Premier League, it wouldn’t surprise me if Reading wanted double that.
The question then is whether Leeds would pay such a large sum for the player. He has the potential to be an important player even in the Premier League – but £10 million or higher is a lot to chuck at a player with very little top tier experience.
However, of all the players you could spend such an amount on, Swift is arguably worth it.
Given that his contract is running down towards its final six months, I would value him at an absolute maximum of £5 million.
Even that amount is slightly extortionate if truth be told, as he isn’t exactly young.
There’s no doubting he is one of the best in his position that the Championship has to offer, but I’m not entirely convinced he would cut it in the Premier League.
It appears that he will be staying put for the time being and all in all I think that’s for the best as he will be able to assess his options in the summer.
The Royals will inevitably be gutted to lose him on a free but that is the risk they are willing to take.