Reading manager Veljko Paunovic has revealed he is confident he will be able to recruit new players before the start of next season, in an interview with BBC Radio Berkshire.
The Royals are yet to make any signings this summer with a transfer embargo currently hanging over their head. This is due to their overspending on transfer fees and wages in the last few years – and these restrictions have hampered the Berkshire side ever since.
However, with the £8m sale of Michael Olise to Crystal Palace and several first-team players being released over the summer, they will be hoping these departures will make room for arrivals to come in over the next couple of months.
The higher or lower Reading FC transfer fee quiz – can you get 20/20?
They will want these arrivals to come in very shortly with the Royals severely lacking squad depth in a few different positions – and the fact they only have teenagers Ethan Bristow and Imari Samuels as natural options at left-back reinforces the need for these signings.
In an interview with BBC Radio Berkshire, Paunovic stated he was confident their current transfer situation will become clearer in the next few days and weeks as they return from their pre-season training camp in Scotland.
He said: “I am confident that we will be able to improve the team before the season starts and during the transfer window.
“In the next couple of weeks we are having conversations with the League.
“The deadline is going to come soon so we can have the right guidance as to where we stand with it.
“We are expecting when we come back from Scotland we will have a much better and clearer picture about what we can do in terms of bringing in people, in terms of re-signing people.”
As part of their preparations to bring new arrivals in, the Championship side have taken Celtic-linked winger Kyle Edwards and former Watford full-back Achraf Lazaar on trial ahead of a possible permanent move.
Because they are both free agents, these are two potential arrivals that could happen even under the EFL’s strict embargo rules, with fellow out-of-contract duo Yannick Bolasie and Junior Hoilett also being linked with a move to Berkshire in recent weeks.
Although the Royals are currently in a tricky transfer situation with the new league season just a matter of weeks away, it can’t be as bad as last season.
Paunovic’s first game as Reading manager was against Derby County on the opening day of the previous campaign following Mark Bowen’s departure – and with the Serbian being appointed so near to the start of the 2020/21 season – he was unable to put his stamp on the side until later in the transfer window.
This may happen again due to the club’s current embargo, but at least he’s had a full pre-season to work with the players and managed to get a couple of trialists in the building.